Paducah officials are investigating whether or not the city is required to hold Barbecue on the River Incorporated accountable to requirements listed in municipal orders the city adopted to subsidize its largest downtown event.
Barbecue on the River has resolved its dispute with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra about the festival’s beer garden management by offering the PSO the right of first refusal. That means PSO will be the first organization festival officials asks to manage the beer garden, but a press release from the two groups doesn’t say whether or not that contract will have any changes.
Paducah City officials are staying mum on what they will do about BBQ on the River’s violation of a 2011 agreement in the wake of the festival organization ending Paducah Symphony Orchestra’s management of a beer garden.
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra and Barbecue on the River organizers are at odds over the future management of the September event’s beer garden. The summer festival lasts three days in downtown Paducah and draws some 40,000 people and an estimated $500,000 to area charities.
Preparations for Paducah’s 19th annual Barbeque on the River festival are already under way. The three-day festival will feature live music, games for kids and, of course, over 90,000 pounds of smoked meat from competing vendors. But plans are in the works to include a new contest category that would allow casual barbequers to compete. Festival Director David Boggs said the decision to include the “In Your Backyard Pig Cook-Off” was a logistical necessity.
Despite a storm the first night of Barbeque on the River, the Paducah fundraiser raised over $350,000 for local charities this September. Executive Director David Boggs told the Paducah Sun that the three day festival normally raises about $400,000. Boggs says there are still a few donations left to count, so that number could rise. The festival’s largest donation came from the Buzzard Brothers barbeque team, with $16,000 raised. Festival organizer Susan Coiner says they have some changes planned for next year, including more competitions and some extra entertainment.