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Owensboro is a town located on the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky's Western Coal Fields. It bills itself as the Barbecue Capital of the World and has had some interesting figures call it home over the years, such as Beulah Annan, whose story inspired the play and movie Chicago; Florence Henderson, aka Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch; NASCAR great Darrell Waltrip (as well as his brother Michael, also a longtime NASCAR driver); and Johnny Depp. On a darker note, it was also the site of the last public hanging in the United States, the subject being an African American in 1936.

Get in[edit]

The Owensboro aka Glover Bridge connects Owensboro with Indiana, whereas I-165 connects it with Bowling Green to the south and US Route 60 with Henderson to the west.

Get around[edit]


Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum


  • 1 The River Park Center, 101 Daviess St, +1 270 687-2787. The arts and cultural center for the Owensboro-Daviess County Region. Featuring many well renowned and accredited plays and operas.
  • 2 Smothers Park, 199 W Veterans Blvd, +1 270 687-8333. Daily 7AM-10PM. This centralized park with its fountains and playplaces and promenade along the Ohio River looks pretty avant garde next to its surroundings and the river bottom terrain. Besides being a drawing point for aesthetics, it hosts a lot of events.
Glover Bridge and Smothers Park in foreground


Owensboro is known as 'The City of Festivals.' Serving host to many local and international festivals and fairs. Owensboro is also considered 'The Number One Sports Town' in Kentucky.

  • The International Bar-B-Q Festival, second weekend of May
  • The River of Music Party (ROMP), a bluegrass event
  • The Apple Festival
  • The Owensboro PumpkinFest, held in September



Owensboro is known for two dishes, barbecue and burgoo. If you haven't heard of the second: it's a traditional stew originally made with squirrel or venison, but now made with mutton, chicken, beef and vegetables.

  • Moonlite Bar-b-q Inn, 2840 W Parrish Av, +1 270-684-8143. It serves mutton among other things and has lunch and dinner buffets. The cooking has won contests so maybe it's nothing to sneeze at.




By phone[edit]

Most telephone numbers in Owensboro consist of +1 270 plus a seven-digit number, but the western third of Kentucky is now served by an overlay complex of two area codes, with +1 364 being the second. A local or in-state telephone call now requires all 10 digits of the local number be dialed (omitting just the leading +1 from a local landline call). The same is true on the Indiana side of the river, which has its own overlay complex of 812 and 930.

Signage on many established businesses may still display the original seven-digit numbers; dial 270 before these if no area code is indicated (or 812 if in Indiana).

Go next[edit]

Henderson, to the west, is the home of Ellis Park, a thoroughbred horse track that races in the summer months.

To the south are two towns that gave birth to musicians. Rosine is the birthplace of Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass music. Central City is the birthplace of Don Everly, the older of the two Everly Brothers, famous for countless hits including "Bye, Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie". (The other brother, Phil, was born in Chicago.)

Routes through Owensboro
END  N  S  HartfordBowling Green
Evansville via Henderson  W  E  Fort KnoxLouisville
LafayetteJasper  N  S  HartfordBowling Green
END  N  S  → Jct Western Kentucky ParkwayLewisburgNashville

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