Danville's annual Kentucky State BBQ Festival has quickly made a name for itself with meat lovers. Now in its fourth year, the festival begins 5-10 p.m. Friday, and continues at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
This year will feature champion pitmasters Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker in Nashville; Moe Cason of Ponderosa BBQ in Des Moines; Mike Mills of 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, Ill.; Craig Kimmel of Firehouse BBQ in DeLand, Fla., Shelly Frisch of Desperados BBQ in Angola, N.Y., and Shane Draper of Draper's BBQ in Cunningham, Ky.
Sandwiches start at $6, sides start at $1. Soft drinks are $2, beers and cocktails are $5. Wilderness Trail Distillery will be at the festival with their Harvest Rum and other spirits.
Backyard BBQ competition and the Smokin' Butt Bike Ride are on Saturday. The bean eating competition is on Sunday. Admission and parking are free. There will be cooking demos by Tim Mikeska and The Big Green Egg experts. For more information, go to kentuckybbqfestival.com.
■ Sarah's Corner Cafe BBQ, now at 720 Henry Clay Blvd., will have its grand opening Saturday and introduce a Brisket Burger. Specials include half-price appetizers all day, half-price barbecue sauce and specials during the UK-Ohio football game and tailgater discounts.
■ The Night Market, a pop-up market for food and retail, will be at East Loudon and Bryan avenues from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday. Dozens of food and retail vendors will be there, with music by the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers. Free.
■ Rooster Brew in downtown Paris will have a limited tapping on Friday, starting at 5 p.m., of GodXilla, a dark, barrel-aged, open-fermented, sour beer.
■ In honor of National Bourbon Month, the Bourbon Belle Society is teaming with Wild Thyme Cooking School in Chinoe Center. The first class is Friday at 6:30 p.m.; a $60 class includes tasting, mixology and preparing a full three-course meal with bourbon, along with cocktail preparation. Go to Wildthymecooking.com to reserve a place.
■ Downs After Dark night racing returns to Churchill Downs, beginning Friday, for a 12-day September meet. Presented by Old Forester, this Friday is College Rivalry Night, a fundraiser for the V Foundation. General admission is $3.
■ Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar's new menu for September includes Tomato Bisque Soup and Fiesta Corn Chowder. The bakery is at 1999 Harrodsburg Rd. For more information, go to www.wix.com/jan36/bakeryblessings.
■ The Bluegrass Farmers' Market has homegrown corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, melons, baked goods, jams, meats, eggs, and more. It's in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road or at Azur Restaurant & Patio at 3070 Lakecrest Circle. It's open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. with plenty of free parking. Click on the blog for more information at www.bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.
■ Lexington Farmers' Market, on Main Street on Saturday and Southland on Sunday, will have locally grown seasonal vegetables and fruits, as well as Good Shepherd's Pyrenees style sheep cheese, chevre and feta from Bleugrass Chevre; garlic, meats and artisan breads from Blue Moon Farm; blue cheese crumbles from Boone Creek Creamery; fresh salsa from Henkle's Herbs and Heirlooms; and dahlias, lilies, lisianthus and more from Three Toads. Parking is in Fifth/Third garage for $1 with validated stub.