“Owensboro, Kentucky, might just be the heartbeat of American culture.”

That’s what travelsouth.visittheusa.com says in a new article — “Bourbon, Bluegrass and Barbecue: Experience the South from Louisville to the Ozarks.”

“It’s an absolute honor to receive national attention from Visit The USA — also known as Brand USA — the marketing arm for United States travel,” Dave Kirk, destination management director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Friday.

He said, “Recognitions like these put you in the conversation with some very popular destinations resulting in new business for Owensboro. We’re continuing to build a national brand around bluegrass music and it’s capturing the attention of people throughout the country.”

Kirk said, “As we hopefully move out of the pandemic soon, being on a list like this puts us in people’s minds to try out once they feel ready to travel again. The timing of this recognition couldn’t be better.”

The article highlights Louisville, Lexington and Owensboro in Kentucky; St. Louis and Branson in Missouri and Eureka Springs in Arkansas.

The Owensboro section is headlined “Bluegrass and Barbecue.”

“Dream of finger-licking-good barbecue as you drive to Owensboro, Kentucky, and satisfy your cravings at the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn,” the article says. “Known for its Kentucky-specific mutton, this down-home, family-owned eatery is famous for its award-winning barbecue. Sample fresh beef, mouthwatering mutton and tender pulled pork. Don’t forget cherry cobbler for dessert.”

It adds, “Once you’ve filled up on some good eats, burn off calories with a stroll through Yellow Creek Park. Experience the natural beauty of Kentucky via the many hiking trails, snap Instagram-worthy photos by a sparkling lake or picnic in one of the recreational areas.”

And the article says, “For those seeking a low-key afternoon, head to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, where you can check out interactive exhibits, enjoy live banjo music and experience the preservation of Kentucky’s heritage through instrument demonstrations. If you’re visiting in June, don’t miss ROMPfest. This three-day bluegrass extravaganza features incredible bands and performances that celebrate Kentucky and its musical culture. For those seeking music and moonlight amid the excitement, campgrounds are available around the staging lots.”

VisitTheUSA.com is owned and operated by the Corporation for Travel Promotion, which does business as Brand USA.

In 2018, Brand USA, the marketing agency for American tourism, selected Owensboro as one of its Top 10 American music cities.

The others on the list were Austin, Texas; Detroit; Miami; Las Vegas; Minnesota; Mississippi; Nashville; New Orleans; and West Hollywood, California.

In 2019, Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer for Brand USA, said, “What we’re trying to do is get tourists learning about and thinking about new experiences and new places. Some of them have been to Disney World and Las Vegas and think they’ve seen America. We want them to know that there’s more to America.”

He said in 2018, 78 million people from other countries visited America and Brand USA was responsible for 1.2 million of them.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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