Kentucky Bluegrass and Burgoo Festival REVIEW [Music]

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The weather was not a friend to the 6th annual Kentucky Bluegrass and Burgoo Festival held at the Water Tower this weekend.

My husband and I passed up on 100+ temps on Saturday and rain threats on Sunday and ventured out on chilly Monday afternoon. We found that the overcast, windy skies did not keep most families at home like I imagined.

The music was wonderful (we caught Fresh Cut Grass’ set) despite the hum in the microphone from the howling winds off the river.

The fall-like temps had me craving burgoo, a stew I would describe as chili made with pulled pork. Considering this festival had “burgoo” in the name, I was hoping to able to try and compare several burgoo options; however, I noted only two: Tony’s BBQ Barn and the local F.A.B.D. (Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot). Tony offered a small sample for only $1, but F.A.B.D. had an all-or-nothing approach, not conducive to a compare-and-contrast technique. Having read an article about Tony being specially recruited for the festival for his famous burgoo, I took my growling stomach straight to his tent. Looking around, it was pretty clear that not many others knew the secret: The line for F.A.B.D. seemed significantly longer, and the ubiquitous hamburger and corn dog stands placed prominently in the middle of the food vendors seemed quite busy too. Tony’s burgoo seemed pricey at $7 (F.A.B.D’s prices were comparable) but it was delicious.

After eating, my husband and I ventured over to the arts and crafts tent. I was incredibly disappointed that I could count the amount of vendors on one hand. Perhaps they only showed up for the festival on Saturday and Sunday?

The kids’ entertainment area consisted of several bouncy castles that were empty and seemingly unattended. However, most children at the event were happy to be running around and dancing to the music.

A corn hole game tucked in a corner far from the action seemed anti-social so we never checked it out. I would have liked to see games like that included in the main gathering area.

Next year, I hope the organizers of the event (Bisig Impact Group) do more to recruit a wide variety of barbecue, burgoo, and artist vendors. It would also be neat to offer some crafts activities (basket making, painting wood pieces, etc) for festival-goers of all ages to participate in. While the music was wonderful, we left before the 2nd band came on. The lack of activities (besides drinking) had us a bit bored.

​Photo: Cat Scott Larimore