The Group Travel Leader

MAR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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BARBECUE COMPETITION In the western part of the state, Owensboro has developed a reputation as a hotbed of barbecue. It is consistently ranked among the top barbecue destinations in the country and has restaurants that have been visited by numerous U.S. presidents and other celebrities. This makes the town an ideal setting for the International Bar-B-Q Festival, which takes place this year May 12-13. Competition is a big part of the barbecue culture nationwide, and the International Bar-B-Q Festival is no exception. Teams come from far and wide to compete for the Governor's Cup, and festival- goers are the beneficiaries of that competitive spirit. Visitors can taste dozens of varieties of traditional pork and chicken barbecue, along with accompanying rubs and sauces. But this festival also puts a spotlight on some barbecue dishes that are specialties of western Kentucky, such as mutton (smoked lamb) and burgoo, a smoked stew. In addition to barbecue, this festival features free entertain- ment, a pie-eating competition, arts-and-crafts vendors and various other activities. W W W.B B Q FE S T.C O M BOURBON CENTRAL Since 1776, locals in and around Bardstown have been distill- ing bourbon, a distinctive whiskey that has become a culinary and cultural calling card of the Bluegrass State. Today, 69 percent of the world's bourbon is created in the area immediately surrounding Bardstown, a charming small town located between Louisville and Lexington. That makes the town's annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival a desirable destination for any bourbon aficionado. Scheduled this year for September 11-17, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a weeklong celebration that highlights the history and pedigree of the state's signature beverage. Visitors can enjoy distill- ery tours, tasting sessions, educational presentations and museum displays, as well as a wealth of music and entertainment. During the evenings, groups that attend the festival can choose from a variety of events, ranging from laid-back mixers to upscale, bourbon-infused galas. Other options include bourbon-style cooking schools, scenic train rides and shopping with hundreds of arts- and-crafts vendors. W W W.K Y B O U RB O N FE S TIVA L .C O M Photos courtesy KY Department of Travel 2 1

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