Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River in Western Kentucky, you'll find Owensboro - International BBQ Capital of the World. Named one of the seven must-visit places for country music fans by Rolling Stone Magazine, you'll be hard-pressed to find any corner of Daviess County that isn't imprinted with bourbon, bar-b-que, or bluegrass. Because of its proximity to major cities like Nashville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, Owensboro is an ideal location for those who prefer small-town charm but easy access to the big city lights.
Originally inhabited by the Shawnee, Owensboro's first known settler of European descent was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797. In 1817, the name of the village was officially changed from Yellow Banks to Owensborough, named after soldier, surveyor, and politician, Col. Abraham Owen. It was later shortened to Owensboro in 1893.
It wasn't long until Owensboro became a booming industrial town that led the nation in the manufacturing of tobacco products, bourbon, and wagons. Today, many still find employment in Owensboro at the distilleries but because of the recent advancements in healthcare facilities in the area, Owensboro Health has become the area's top employer. Owensboro offers affordable housing, award-winning schools, and access to world-class medical facilities while maintaining a courteous, know-your-neighbor atmosphere.
Owensboro is home to The Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, the William H. Natcher and Glover H. Cary (Blue) Bridges, the world's largest sassafrass tree, and birthplace of famed actor Johnny Depp. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to Owensboro to dine on BBQ delicacies at the International BBQ Festival and at various long-standing BBQ restaurants around town, to the annual bluegrass festival ROMP, and enjoy live music each Friday evening in the summer at the free Friday After 5 event.