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Get Your Beef On At The Beef Festival

Fort Harrod Beef Festival Oct. 3–5

Jack Coleman of Triple J&C Barbecue competes in the grill-off at last year’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival.

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

It’s time to get your beef on. The 14th Annual Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival, happens October 3-5, at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.

Jude Wilson spins a lasso at last year’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival. There will be plenty of events for kids during the three day event.

Over $11,000 in prize money will be on the line  as 12 teams of grillers settle at least for this year who grills the best steak, the best burger and—new for this year—the best tri-tips.

Most importantly for the rest of us, the brisket sampling starts Saturday, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m.

But there is a whole lot more than that. The festival weekend is stuffed with activities for all age groups, said event chair Linda McClanahan.

On Thursday, in addition to the youth burger and steak competitions, beauty pageants will begin at the Stables with young miss, pre-teen, teen miss and Ms. Thursday night is also bike night, with live music from Andrea and the Guys.

On Friday, teams fire up their grills for the one bite challenge and sauce competition. There will be live music from Elvis Cocktail starting at 6 p.m. and from the Avery Glenn Crabtree Band starting at 7:30 p.m.  In addition, there will be inflatables for the kids as well as an antique tractor showcase.

On Saturday, the Kiwanis Club 5K Stampede/Poke Along starts at 7:30 a.m. The race has been moved to the fairgrounds this year to keep all the events at a central location.

The Corning Ride Your Butt Off for United Way bicycle ride starts at 9 a.m. at the parking lot of Ephraim McDowell-James B. Haggin Hospital.

James Dunn enjoys himself at the 2016 Steak and Egg Breakfast. This year, the breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.

For the less athletically inclined, the Steak and Egg Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. under the big tent. During the day there will be magic shows, chef demonstrations and live music by Soupbone starting at 4 p.m. A silent auction benefiting the Dustin Worthington I Love Cows Fund starts at 4:30 p.m.

The brisket sampling starts at 5 p.m and the awards will be presented starting at 7 p.m. With the exception of the sampling, the steak and egg breakfast and the 5K run, all events are free.

In previous years, the festival was held in June, but it was moved to October to take advantage of what was supposed to be cooler weather. McClanahan said the unseasonably hot weather is supposed to cool off Thursday night, so  it will be a great time to visit the fairgrounds, eat some beef and have a great time.

Kentucky is the largest beef cattle producer east of the Mississippi River  and the eighth-largest beef cattle producer in the country, according to Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. The beef festival is a way of honoring the commonwealth’s long history in the beef business.

But most importantly, it’s a great way to eat some delicious food and have a good time.

“Come and enjoy the weekend with us,” McClanahan said.

For a full schedule, check out the ad on page 7A, visit their Facebook page or their website at

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