OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/14/13) – The 35th Annual International Barbecue Festival drew another huge shoulder to shoulder crowd to the Ohio riverfront. The thousands on hand this past weekend came to "pig out" on pork, chicken, burgoo and that lip smacking delicacy that often must be defined to tourists ... mutton. (Mutton is actually just a nice term for barbecued sheep.) Many made their way to the Riverpark Center for the Mutton Glutton festivities. Others enjoyed the pie eating contests, one of kind arts and craft booths, carnival rides, face painting and the beer garden.
The festival, which began in 1978 as a competition between area churches' cooking teams, soon become famous for its free music, family fun, and lots and lots of mouthwatering barbecue.
The atmosphere is always friendly at the festival. However, there is always that smell of goodhearted competition in the air as the hard working cooking teams labor over open pits for hours in pursuit of the coveted best barbecue awards.
Surfky News asked Bob Newman of the Blessed Mother cooking team what their secret was for creating perfect barbecue.
"These guys right here," Newman said, pointing to his team members from the area church. "They're the best in Owensboro!
“We're going for the Grand Champion award, that's our goal," Newman added.
Guy Connor of the Precious Blood team said his team's secret for perfect barbecue "is the Man above."
As always seems the case, attendees had to deal with a bit of rain both Friday and Saturday, but that didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of tried and true barbecue lovers.
Adam Edelen Kentucky State Auditor of Public Accounts, took to the Miller stage Saturday evening, to announce the top honors in the various categories, according to Debbie Reyholds of the Owensboro/Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
•Overall Winner - St Mary Magdalene
•2nd Place - Lourdes
•3rd Place - St. Pius X
•Team Spirit - Crooked Creek
•Chicken - 1st place, Blessed Mother; 2nd place, Lourdes; 3rd place, St. Pius X
•Burgoo - 1st place, St. Mary Magdalene; 2nd place, Lourdes; 3rd place, St. Pius X
•Mutton - 1st place, St. Mary Madgalene; 2nd place Blessed Mother; 3rd place, St. Pius X
•Backyard Cooks - Overall Winner Meat Heads Bar-B-Q
•Best Booth - All Out Pig Out
•Chicken - 1st place, Kentucky Smoke Square; 2nd place Pit Bros. Bar-B-Q
•Pork - 1st place, Meat Heads Bar-B-Q; 2nd place, Holy Town Cookers
•Beef - 1st place, Outlaw Bar-B-Q; 2nd place, All Out Pig Out
To keep up with plans for next year's event contact the International Barbecue Festival at P.O. ox 434, Owensboro, Ky 42302, or call the Owensboro/Daviess Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-270-926-1100.
Photos provided by Paul McRee
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