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Festivals, Arts & Entertainment

More than 20 annual festivals take place in Owensboro throughout the year attracting numerous local and out-of-town visitors. Owensboro offers many family-friendly festivals such as ROMP's Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival in Panther Creek Park, Big O Music Fest at Reid's Orchard, Western Kentucky Botanical Garden Daylily Festival, and much more. Owensboro considers itself the "BBQ Capital of the World", and it holds its International BBQ Festival and competition every second weekend in May.

Each Summer, Owensboro hosts the Big O Music Fest, a large country music festival attracting country music artists such as Blake Shelton and Hank Williams Jr. Owensboro also hosts ROMP in June, a bluegrass music festival with headlining artists such as The Punch Brothers and John Prine. The Lanham Brothers Jamboree is another event held every second Saturday from April through September at the Diamond Lake Resort Theater in Owensboro.

Also during the Summer, the city offers "Friday After 5", a free 16-week series of outdoor concerts on the Riverpark Center's outdoor plaza. The festival includes live bands, events for families, and entertainment every Friday evening from 5:00 pm till 10:00 pm. 

Owensboro is home to a unique annual fundraiser: Men Who Cook – Celebrity Chefs Gala & Auction. The event includes food, live music, as well as silent and live auctions. 

Come and enjoy everything Owensboro has to offer!

Year-round Festivals, Arts & Entertainment

Owensboro Events Tickets

CLICK HERE to purchase your Owensboro Events Tickets at the Owensboro Convention Center or at the RiverPark Center. 

Friday After 5 [Summer]

Owensboro knows how to kick-off a summer weekend! Great bands. Perfect venue. Zero cost. Every year, from May to August, Owensboro’s popular FREE concert series returns to the Ohio Riverfront for the perfect way to start your weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Headline bands play on the RiverPark Center’s BB&T Plaza, while Gospel on the River performs inside in Riverpark Center's Cannon Hall. Acoustic music plays in the Courtyard and local bands perform on the Overlook Stage in Smothers Park. [learn more]

Big O Music Festival [August]

The Big O Music Fest, the best time in Owensboro, features some of the top names in country music and is held annually at Reid’s Orchard. With a new lineup every year, the Big O Music Fest is the area's biggest country music festival! [learn more]

International Bar-B-Q Festival [May]

Every second weekend in May, Owensboro springs to life with the wonderful smells and sounds of the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Smoke from hickory-stoked fires blends with the aromas of sizzling chicken, bubbling burgoo and roasting mutton to complete the festival atmosphere. Events all weekend, from Governor's Cup, Backyard Cookoff, 5k Run/Walk, Bench Press to Car Show, Keg Toss, Pie Eating Contest and Arts & Crafts [learn more]

ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival [June]

Original arts and crafts, farm-to-table healthy food vendors, and professionally-led children's activities (including a spray park and playgrounds), endear audiences to ROMP. Above and beyond that, ROMP is beloved for its gorgeous setting. Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its raptor rescue center, winding creek and fishing lake, sweeping tree-lines, nature trails and vast grassy fields, is very much part of the spirit and festival culture that brings thousands to ROMP each year. Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam with ROMP artists day and night, or dance until dawn at awesome after parties featuring national acts on the cabin stage in the park's rustic Pioneer Village. [learn more]

Festivals & Events at Trunnell's Farm Market [year-round]

Trunnell's Farm Market & Family Fun Acre combines fresh produce, education, and entertainment - all wrapped into one "Homegrown Family Fun" experience featuring Festivals & Events for everyone to enjoy. [learn more]

  • Festival of Flowers [May] - A weekend of flowers and fun. Trunnell's will be blooming with color during this Festival exciting the entire family!
  • Trunnell’s Peach Jam Festival & Pageants [July] - This unique festival celebrates everything peach! This is an event the whole family will enjoy. 
  • Trunnell's 5K Sweet Corn Extreme Run/Walk & Sweet Corn Roast [July] - Are you tough enough to run the farm? The whole family will enjoy this event that kicks off with Trunnell's Sweet Corn 5K Extreme Run/Walk celebrating the summer season and everything corn.
  • Grandparents Days [September] - Kids spend a day with your grandparents at Trunnell's Farm! 
  • Hometown Heroes Day [September] - In tribute to those who sacrifice so much, Trunnell's is giving back to Kentucky and Indiana firemen, police officers, first responders, and active & retired military (including Reserve & National Guard). 
  • Trunnell’s Ole’ Cider Days [September] - A Cider-stravaganza!!! A weekend of cider and sampling including six different ciders to tickle your taste buds: strawberry cider, blackberry cider, peach cider, red cherry cider, blueberry cider and fresh apple cider. Fresh picked apples, apple butter, apple pie, and apple bread will be sampled as well.
  • Trunnell’s Octoberfest [October] - This unique festival celebrates the fall season and everything farming! This is an event for the whole family. Come climb aboard the farm equipment, enter the Corn Toss Contest, and enjoy listening to live music while viewing the countryside.
  • Pumpkin Fest [October] - From the Great Pumpkin Fest, Fall Squash-N-Pumpkin Gobble to Halloween and The Grand Pumpkin Smash Festival, October is busy here at the farm!
  • Trunnell's Moonlit' Harvest Fest & Flash Light Night [October] - An A-maize-ing event! Trunnell's Moonlit' Harvest Fest begins with family fun in the Family Fun Acre with live entertainment all day. Afterwards, it's time for Flashlight Night in the Trunnell's Corn Maze! Enjoy finding your way through the Interactive Corn Maze in the DARK which is a whole new experience that is fun for all ages.

4th of July Celebrations [July]

  • Family Freedom Fireworks Festival - The best fireworks festival! A family event full of activities for all ages. The festival celebrates the Nation's birthday. Come and celebrate with us at Panther Creek Park [learn more]
  • Celebration of the American Spirit - View the fireworks from the beautiful Ohio Riverfront as the City of Owensboro celebrates the Fourth of July with music from the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. This special night concludes with a fireworks display shooting off from a barge anchored in the Ohio River. Gates open at 6 pm, followed by speeches, Color Guard, and fireworks accompanied by patriotic music at 9 pm [learn more]

Daviess County Lions Club Fair [July]

Every year the Daviess County Lions Club Fair is a fun place to be at the Daviess County Fairgrounds. Come join the fun with tractor pulls, rides, food, and family fun! For a complete schedule, check out the Daviess County Fair [learn more]

Area Parish Barbecue Picnics [July - September]

From July to September Owensboro becomes the heaven of the Parish Barbecue Picnics! Find the parish to enjoy your next Bar-B-Q Picnic: St. Peter of Alcantara Parish, Blessed Sacrament Parish, St. Martin Parish, Blessed Mother Parish, St. Columba Parish (Lewisport), Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, St. Lawrence and St. William Parishes, St. Stephen Cathedral, Immaculate Parish and St. Mary of the Woods Parish. [learn more]

Owensboro Dragon Boat Festival [August]

Traditionally held on the fifth day of the fifth moon on the lunar calendar, the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the life and death of the ancient patriot-poet Qu Yuan who lived from 340-278 B.C. during the Warring States Period of China. Qu Yuan was a minister who advocated reforms in his home state of Chu, the King refused to listen to Qu Yuan's advice and instead banished him from the state of Chu. In exile, when Qu Yuan heard that his home state had been invaded, he drowned himself out of despair in the Mi Lo River (In today's Hunan Province of China). According to the legend, the people of Chu, who loved Qu Yuan, rushed to the river and rowed boats fiercely to rescue him, while beating drums to scare away the fish. Too late to save Qu Yuan, they splashed furiously and threw zung-ze, steamed rice wrapped in reed leaf, into the river as a sacrifice to his spirit and to keep the fish from Qu Yuan's body. [learn more]

Owensboro Multicultural Festival (August)

Each year, on the 3rd Saturday of August, First Presbyterian Church hosts the Owensboro Multicultural Festival on our front lawn at 1328 Griffith Avenue, and is free for the whole community. Come celebrate the diverse culture of Owensboro! [learn more]

East Bridge Art & Music Festival [September]

Katherine Taylor and Christy Taylor Chaney, both sisters and Owensboro natvies, dreamed of developing a more vast arts culture in Owensboro. After graduating with arts degrees, Katherine and Christy decided they wanted to open an art gallery in good 'ole Owensboro. Traveling to art festivals around the country, they decided to start Owensboro's very own art and music festival, East Bridge. During the 1st year, within an hour of kick-off, the grounds were filled with people admiring the uniqueness this festival had to offer. Children creating their own works of art while the parents took in the unique artwork surrounding them. Live music played all day while local restaurants served up gourmet street food. Something they had only dreamed about was now in full swing right in front of them in their hometown. Around the month of September every year, the East Bridge Art and Music Festival brings in 1,900+ people to Owensboro's downtown. [learn more]

Owensboro Air Show [September]

Don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal to a wide range of aircraft. Friday will be your chance to meet some of the pilots of these aircrafts and experience a taste of the Owensboro Air Show. As the sun begins to set, a few performers will take to the sky to entertain the crowds with an evening spectacle of nighttime air show performances followed by fireworks to conclude the night. [learn more]

Reid's Apple Festival & Carnival Rides [October]

The Reid's Orchard Apple Festival is an event for the whole family with 20 food booths, 90 crafts booths, entertainment, demonstrations and carnival riders. The festival has been named a Top 10 event by the Kentucky Tourism Council and a Top 20 event by the southeast Tourism Society which covers eleven states. [learn more]

Monsters on the Ohio [October]

The Monsters on the Ohio tournament hits the waters of the Ohio River in the Newburgh Pool out of Owensboro Ky, home of the Kentucky State record bluecat. The tournament is launched from English Park boat ramp every year in October. This is the opportunity for catfish anglers from across the country to compete against the best of the best for cash and prizes.

Holiday Celebrations [December]

  • Annual Holiday Forest - Every year at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art you can enjoy the Holiday Forest Festival of Trees featuring more than a dozen monumental Christmas trees designed and decorated by area artists, floral designers, and non-profit organizations. 
  • Holiday in the Park - Come and see giant elves, trees, toys and figures lining Legion Park's half-mile walking path. Don't forget to find Santa in his sleigh!
  • Christmas @ Panther Creek - This annual lights display has become a family tradition throughout Daviess County and the surrounding communities. An outdoor driving lighted tour with 400,000+ lights in whimsical Christmas displays winding through Panther Creek Park.
  • Holiday Stroll - Stroll the downtown streets to get into the holiday spirit. Strolling carolers, storefront decorations, and indoor performers will make this evening a reminder of the good old days of being downtown at Christmas.

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