Department of Parks
Beef Festival Will Be Sizzling at Old Fort Harrod June 5-8
HARRODSBURG, Ky. – Who grills the best steaks and hamburgers? You can find out at the third annual Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival to be held June 5-8 at Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Harrodsburg, Ky.
The festival kicks off on Thursday June 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a wine and cheese tasting at Old Fort Harrod State Park in the James Harrod Amphitheater. On Friday June 6, the festival continues with a sanctioned truck pull at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, along with a chili cook-off, corn-hole tournament and live entertainment.
The festival hits full stride Saturday June 7 with a juried arts and crafts fair at Old Fort Harrod State Park, featuring more than 50 exhibitors, a steak and eggs breakfast, 5K run/walk, motorcycle cruise-in, live bands and entertainment, festival food, children’s activities, craft demonstrations, pony rides, pageants, inflatable rides, twilight tour of the fort, and other activities.
On Saturday, the Beef Festival signature event, a beef “grill off,” takes place at the Mercer County fairgrounds. The teams compete to produce the best brisket, steak, and backyard burger. There also is a youth backyard burger and steak category for ages 9 to 17. Judges will determine the winners in the professional and amateur division, and a “People’s Choice” award will be presented.
The cost is only $6.00 per person to sample all the wares and vote for the best. A best of show award will be given to the team with the most creatively decorated grill-off-area. Other events at the fairgrounds that same day include a team roping event, chef demonstrations, Kentucky district dairy show, music and more.
Also, on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. an old fashioned ice cream social and a showcase of ambulances, limos and hearses will be held at the Alexander and Royalty Funeral Home, 304 East Lexington in Harrodsburg.
On Sunday, June 8, the juried arts and crafts show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Old Fort Harrod State Park with more live entertainment, children’s activities, and a classic car cruise-in. In addition, on Sunday, the Kentucky State Flintlock Championship will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mercer County Fish and Game Farm.
According to Joan Huffman, Old Fort Harrod park manager, the festival is being held to mark Kentucky’s emergence as a cattle-producing state. For more details about the event, contact Huffman at (859) 734-9614 or 734-3314 or Dr. LeMayne Ellis at (859) 734-5546 or visit www.fortharrodbeeffestival.org or www.parks.ky.gov/stateparks/fh.
Old Fort Harrod State Park, the Commonwealth’s first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, is located on South College Street in Harrodsburg. Mercer County Fairgrounds, home of the oldest continuously-held fair and horse show in the United States, is located at 560 Linden Avenue in Harrodsburg.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov.