Photo by Ap Imagery
Written by Steven Wilson & Danny May
If you’ve lived in the ‘Boro your whole life, you’ve probably had to come to grips with the fact that we Owensboroans have a few quirks about us. If you moved here from somewhere else, you probably noticed that right away. It’s also something you discover immediately when you visit other places. Maybe it has to do with how OBKY is geographically positioned to create a mix of southern charm, northern sophistication, and midwestern values. Either way, here are some things that are unique to us in the Big O.
Those of us born and raised in Owensboro identify ourselves by our high school and graduating class.
We’re a church-going bunch. It’s almost assumed. If you’re just meeting someone, “where do you go to church?” is bound to come up in conversation.
We also stake our claim by which barbecue joint is our favorite. Even though you can’t really go wrong; they’re all great. But we definitely have our favorite, and we will argue it and stand by it. And as part of our barbecue heritage, we eat mutton and burgoo and take for granted that most people have no idea what those are. Which means we also take pride in explaining what burgoo and mutton are and how no two kettles of burgoo are ever the same.
We love signing our kids up for youth sports – from baseball to soccer to hockey and everything in between.
And like most towns in Kentucky, we either bleed blue (UK) or bleed red (UofL), and there’s no denying which side someone is on. Everything we can put a cat or a cardinal on – we will find a way! Not just hats and shirts. Oh, no! We take it to the next level: cornhole boards, grill covers, golf bags, yard flags, license plates. You name it!
Owensboroans wave at everybody, all the time, whether we know that person or not. Anyone driving by our house. Anyone we pass on the street. Even if we don’t recognize the car, we still wave. And because we’re so friendly, we go out of our way to help each other, whether it’s helping our neighbor move or pitching in for a worthy cause.
Supporting local business is another Big O thing. Whether it’s shopping at a boutique, eating at a restaurant, or recommending a plumber, we’re great at supporting our local business owners.
We always complain about the weather, though. Every year it’s freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer. Yet every year we still act like we didn’t see it coming. Every. Single. Season.
In Owensboro, we close schools for even a chance of snow. We’re used to it, but tell anyone from up north and they think we’re crazy.
Another Big O obscurity is we think it’s completely okay to line up at The Big Dipper so far that we take up an entire lane of Parrish Avenue, or line up so far for Wonder Whip that we take up an entire lane of 144, which we still call “Old 60” by the way.
Owensboroans love a good yard sale. Some people plan all year long for their big sale. But some people put like 10 items in their driveway every other weekend. Sometimes entire neighborhoods will have yard sales on the same weekend so there are sales on every street. The 200-mile yard sale along Highway 60 cuts right through town. Heck, we even have consignment sale events big enough to fill the Sportscenter and Convention Center every year.
Owensboroans support live music. Whether it’s a small, club-type venue like Brasher’s Little Nashville or a touring act at the Sportscenter. Whether it’s an inside show at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame or outside at Friday After 5, Live on the Banks or ROMP. We’ll even turn a front porch into a stage at Porchfest.
And what do all of these things have in common? They’re all a part of what makes Owensboro unique – and what makes Owensboro great!