Owensboro, Kentucky has a rich heritage. From being the former home of the Shawnee Indians, to being the crossroads town at which Lewis and Clark stayed before setting off on their famed travels, to being a site of several Civil War battles, Owensboro's history is one of pride and discovery. Formerly known as Yellow Banks due to the color of the earth by the Ohio River where the city is located, Owensboro gets its name from Col. Abraham Owen.
Today, the city of Owensboro is the fourth-largest city in Kentucky and an industrial, medical, retail, and cultural center. Recent plans for the downtown area include a revitalization and development plan that includes the construction of the Owensboro Convention Center, two hotels, and the new Smothers Park, and beautiful, scenic riverfront park right on the edge of the Ohio River.
Owensboro features many attractions already, too. The Edge Ice Center, the only municipal ice arena in Kentucky, is home to a figure skating club and a youth hockey association and features a 42,600 square foot ice rink. Two public pools and three Sprayparks are available for public use, and many parks in the city offer areas for picnicking, football, tennis, golf, and more. The Ohio River even offers several opportunities for water sports.
Owensboro is also an Arts community and a festival city. A 1,500-seat auditorium, courtyard, riverfront plaza, and more are available at the Owensboro RiverPark Center, and the center is also home to the Bluegrass Music Museum. Many local museums are open to the public, and a number of yearly events, like the Bar-B-Q Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Friday After 5, welcoming thousands of visitors annually. Friday After 5 is an all-summer-long live music concert series that's free to the public, and recently made it on a list of Top Ten Summer Festivals in Kentucky.