Have you ever had a place have a hold on your heart like no other place in the world? No matter where I go, I always return to the city I love most in the world, Owensboro, Kentucky. It’s a big, little town and it’s just the right size for me. It just recently handed the title of 3rd largest city in Kentucky over to Bowling Green. However, I don’t think it’ll be a title that Bowling Green will hold for long.
Owensboro is a beautiful city and they are always improving. It is built along side the Ohio River in Western Kentucky. Originally called Yellow Banks, founded by William Smeathers around 1790. It later became Owensborough in honor of Col. Abraham Owen, then shortened to Owensboro.
One claim to fame Owensboro sports is being considered the Barbecue Capital of the World. Visitors from all over the world have dropped in to try the barbecue. President’s have stopped on the trail to indulge in the hickory smoked pork, mutton and chicken! Makes my mouth begin to water just thinking about it. On any given Saturday during the summer, the air is filled with church picnics ‘sopping’ the roasting meat with the traditional barbecue sauce of the recipe passed down from generation to generation.
The second weekend in May, every year, the city opens up a competition for the best church barbecue of pork, mutton, chicken and burgoo. All of the Catholic Churches in the area set up their pits in the streets of downtown, and the fires are lit. Judging takes place about 4:00 – 6:00 on Saturday night, but get there early because when they start selling, the lines can get pretty long! Oh – just fyi – for those who might not know – mutton is baby lamb and whether it’s chopped or sliced, as long as it’s barbecued it’s delicious!
The riverfront is an attraction that is gaining popularity. Three open air venues next to the river brings forth music of all different types. This doesn’t include the auditoriums that are within the walls of the Riverpark Center. Built right on the riverbank gives a view when the sun is going down that is as picturesque as a Norman Rockwell painting! Friday night will find kids running around the playgrounds, older folks walking hand in hand, sitting on the many swings looking out to the river, or young adults listening to music and mingling. With the kettle corn being swirled and the DOTS ice cream being scooped, it has a feel that can be likened to Mayberry! Warms my heart thinking about the community enjoying what the city has provided.
Sprinkled throughout the city are the sports parks for your choice of softball, baseball, soccer, along with the Sportcenter for basketball and the Ice Rink for that first date! Hiking trails and biking trails are easy to come by at Ben Hawes, along with the soap box derby track where they host a soap box derby once a year.
There are festivals year around, mainly focusing on the music that surrounds the area. From the Bluegrass Festival to the Owensboro Symphony, you have plenty from which to choose! I can’t forget to mention the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts. Beautiful displays of historical and modern art fill the halls!
Clearly, I could go on and on with the accolades of what Owensboro has to offer, whether you’re a visitor or a resident. I am most proud of the riverfront. It’s not only beautiful, it is state of the art. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving down through the Azalea Trail, down by the river or out to the country, the air has the power to heal what ails ya.
I hope that you have a place that holds your heart like Owensboro has mine. People have commented about not knowing anyone that loves a place as much as I do. I can’t help it……. I do LOVE my hometown!