Located along the Ohio River and full of revitalization efforts and promise for the future, Owensboro, Ky., is one of the most talked about communities in the state, and for good reason. The city was placed 4th on the Top 20 Southern Cities list for Area Development, ranked 9th for "recession-busting factors," and has seen employment growth for three straight years, according to the city's website. Nestled in a tri-state region and easily accessed by Interstates 64 and 65, it should come as no surprise that Owensboro has experienced residential growth in recent years. According to City-Data, Owensboro saw a near 6 percent jump in population from 2000 to 2010, many of the residents here are younger than 40 and the cost of living index is more than 14 points below the national average, making this a very exciting place to live, work and play.
The first European settler in Owensboro dates back to 1797 when frontiersman William Smeathers came through the area. It was originally called Yellow Banks, due to the color of the shores along the Ohio River. Owensboro was also a stop along the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. In fact, the two explorers spent one of their winters in the area. The city has changed quite a bit over the years, morphing from a small port along the Ohio to being the home of institutions like the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Owensboro Museum of Science and History - one of Kentucky's finest cultural hotspots, and the Owensboro RiverPark Center, a fantastic riverfront space that puts on plays and musicals for Owensboro residents.
Owensboro is proud to be home to the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Although the pulled pork and delicious sauce is the main star of this event, the entire city looks forward to plenty of community events during the festival as well. Carnival rides, a 5K, beer garden, music, dancing, Bar-B-Q eating contests and a good old-fashioned burgoo relay and keg toss are just some of the festivities that Owensboro residents have come to love every year.
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