HARRODSBURG — Who grills the best steaks or hamburgers? There might be an answer to that question at Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival, set for Friday and Saturday at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.
The festival begins at 5 p.m. Friday with live entertainment, vending booths (both food and crafts), the set up of the Grill-Off teams, a wine and cheese tasting and numerous other activities. Saturday, the signature event, a beef “Grill-Off,” kicks into high gear. The teams will compete to produce the best brisket, steak, ribs and backyard burger, with all meat coming from Alltech and Critchfield’s of Lexington.
There also will be a youth backyard burger and steak category for those ages 9-17. Judges will determine the winners in the professional, amateur and youth divisions. “People’s Choice” and “Best of Show” awards also will be presented.
The cost is $6 per person to sample all the wares and vote for the best griller.
Other events set for Saturday include a steak and eggs breakfast, 5K run/walk and music sponsored by Ag Credit’s Woodsongs Festival Stage. Also on Saturday starting at 4 p.m., an old-fashioned ice cream social and a showcasing of ambulances, limos and hearses will be at Alexander & Royalty Funeral Home, located at 304 E. Lexington St. in Harrodsburg.
The festival is being held to showcase the importance of beef to Kentucky and promote the commonwealth as the largest beef-producing state this side of the Mississippi River.
For more information about the festival, contact LeMayne Ellis, DVM, at (859) 734-5546, or Dana Anderson at (859) 734-4378. Mercer County Fairgrounds, the oldest Fair and Horse Show in the United States, is located at 460 Linden Ave. in Harrodsburg. The website is fortharrodbeeffestival.org.
Here is a more detailed look at what’s going on during Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival:
6 p.m.: “Beef in the ’Burg” — Sit-down dinner at fairgrounds featuring local caterers, limited seating, tickets $40 each. Will include beef cuts presentation by Dr. Gregg Rentfrow, door prizes and silent auction benefitting Dustin Worthington “I Love Cows” essay program.
7 p.m.: pageants at fairgrounds — Miss. Teen, Pre-Teen and Young Miss; $2 admission
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: gates open for Grill-Off and vendor set-up
6:30-8:30 p.m.: Natalie Berry and the Dingles, free live entertainment
9-11 p.m.: Puddin Howell and Last Call, free live entertainment
5-9 p.m.: Carnival Corral (kiddie land) and inflatables
7-9:30 p.m.: wine and cheese tasting — ticket required; $20, available at the event
5-9 p.m.: main concession booth open, operated by Mercer County Cattlemen’s Association