We all need a little food for thought. The best place to get that can be at one of the many food festivals in Kentucky. Most people think funnel cakes, sweets and corndogs in regards to festival food, but the Bluegrass State has much better fare to offer. Our celebrations have things like barbecue mutton, farm fed beef burgers and homemade pies, along with some of the normal carnival-like foods.
In Paducah at 321 Broadway on September 22nd through the 24th you will find more than 35 teams of barbecuing professionals. They will be cooking up more than 80,000 pounds of pork and chicken using their best recipes. Patrons get to enjoy the goods and the cooks compete in hopes of bringing home the Grand Champion of barbecue trophy. You get to enjoy the scenic side of Downtown Paducah and some of the best barbecue in the state.
12. 26th Annual Mountain Mushroom Festival
This event takes place on April 23-24th this year. It is truly a celebration of everything fungus and a local favorite at 101 Chestnut Street in Downtown Irvine. This fest features gourmet mushroom dishes with all locally grown fungi and foods. The fungus growing in the Appalachians has been a staple for the locals and now everyone can enjoy them and compete in a mushroom hunt.
11. 26th Annual World Chicken Festival
If you happen to be a fan of fried chicken, you will find all the chicken you want at 140 Faith Assembly Church Road in London September 22nd through the 25th. Laurel County is the Kentucky fried chicken capital as hundreds show up to enjoy the crispy goodness annually. This area is home to the Colonel’s first venture from the 1940s and Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken in 1952. Lee Cummings, the co-founder, is the nephew of Colonel Sanders. This event is a fried chicken lover’s dream, so jot it down for your September calendar.
10. Beer Cheese Festival
The first Beer Cheese ever created was assumed to be made by Joe Allman in Winchester during the 1940s. Now we celebrate the creation of this wondrous dip on June 11th in the historic Downtown Winchester district by making massive batches to be used as dips, spreads and whatever you choose. This is a must stop for good ale and an amazing variety of Beer Cheese.
9. Seedtime on the Cumberland
This festival takes place June 5th and 6th on 91 Madison Avenue in Whitesburg and has a variety of musical entertainment and contests. If you love fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade goodness, you won’t want to miss this celebration of all things that seed in Cumberland.
8. Bourbon City Barbecue Festival
This famed Bardstown festival is held at the Nelson County Fairgrounds on 2391 New Haven Road each year. In 2016, it will take place June 3rd and 4th. Lovers of all things barbecue and bourbon will not want to miss this wondrous gathering of top shelf cooks and cuisine creators. There is plenty to eat, drink and celebrate in this famed city, and you will want to mark it on your calendar.
7. Casey County Apple Festival
This year 137 Courthouse Square in Liberty becomes a home to everything and anything apple on September 22nd through 24th. The best apples in Kentucky will be at this fruit festivity, along with pies, cakes, cookies, apple butter, and other tasty treats. The apple festival has culinary delights you wouldn’t think up without a good southern grandma’s recipe book. Plus, each year there is a giant apple pie…
6. Crave Lexington Food and Music Festival
This popular festival at the Masterson Station Park Fairgrounds takes place on August 13th and 14th. You will find a wide array of burgers, sweets, music and art that celebrates the very essence of Lexington.
5. Monroe County Watermelon Festival
Since 1980 this festival has been held the Saturday prior to Labor Day annually. If you love watermelon, you will want to check this one out. There are a variety of melons, along with homemade jams, jellies and other handmade goods. The festival is held in Tompkinsville’s Courthouse Square.
4. Blues Brews and Bluegrass
This renowned celebration of all things blues, brews and bbq happens July 22nd through 24th at Louisville’s Water Tower Park. People gather at 3005 River Road annually to listen to a variety of blues ranging from New Orleans soul to Nashville crooners. The food is absolutely do die for at almost any vender tent. You have such a wide range of choices you’ll want to eat strictly here during the entire event.
3. Green River Catfish Festival
You will experience some of the best catfish in Kentucky July 1st through 4th on Helm Lane in Morgantown during this festival. People get together for a good old fashioned fishing and frying event with prizes and other homemade goodies. If you love catfish, you want to add this event to your bucket list.
The Belvedere at 485 W Main Street in Downtown Louisville hosts the renowned WorldFest celebration on September 2nd through 5th and thousands show up to celebrate the diverse cultures living in the city. You will find ALL types of food from Arabic to Greek to African and more. Almost any cultures cuisine you want to experience will be provided by a vender. There is also a intriguing variety of entertainment from around the world including dancing, singing, and music.
1. International Barbecue Festival
The Owensboro Convention Center and surrounding area at 501 W 2nd Street is home to the annual International Barbecue Festival on May 13th and 14th. This is the biggest celebration of barbecue you will ever experience. Vendors set up offering a variety of different flavors, styles and meats, such as beef, pork, chicken and mutton. You will also find burgoo and some of the best homemade sides you ever put in your mouth.
There are plenty of great food festivals in Kentucky if you know when and where to look. We found just the place to keep you informed on upcoming
events for 2016. What is your favorite Kentucky festival for food?