Preparations are underway for the 70th Dawson Springs Barbecue and Homecoming later this month.

The Barbecue, the biggest fundraiser for the Dawson Springs Community Center, is always on the fourth Friday in July: July 27.

Barbecue is cooked all day Thursday and then pulled Friday morning. Meat will be available for purchase at the center or at Food Giant. Lunch will be served at the center.

Five thousand pounds of barbecue will be cooked. The prices are the same as last year.

Sandwiches are $4, while plate lunches and barbecue by the pound will be $9 each.

This year, the committee received a license to have a beer garden. Plans are to have the garden in Peyton Park.

In addition to the Barbecue, there will be a street fair from 6 to 10 Friday night and then a 5K run and one mile walk at 7:30 a.m. Saturday downtown, and a reception and exhibit at the museum.

Various prizes will be given away at the conclusion of the street fair. Organizers are looking for people to help in several areas.

The Barbecue committee seeks to reduce overhead costs and is accepting donations to the inflatables or climbing wall.

The committee is also in need of organizations, churches or clubs to set up booths at the street fair. Vendors pay $20 and then keep any profits made at the booth, which measures about 10 feet by 10 feet. Vendors must provide prizes, change and games or non-Barbecue food or drink items.

“The BarBQ has been a huge part of the heritage of this town for over 65 years and we need to make sure that it continues so that future generations can have this experience,” the committee said in a letter.

To donate or to sign up for booth space, contact Kathy Nichols at 270-836-3959 or The deadline to sign up is Friday.

To volunteer to supervise the use of the inflatables and climbing wall, contact Jennifer Duncan Hall on Facebook.

Events for Barbecue weekend continue Saturday, including the Dawson Springs BBQ 5K and one-mile walk and a reception at the museum.

Registration for the 5K is ongoing and will be from 6 to 7:15 a.m. Saturday, July 28. The race or one-mile walk costs $25. Participants can sign up on the day of race and also the evening before at Planters Bank. Those who sign up before July 14 will receive their T-shirt on race day. After July 14, T-shirts will be available for pick up at a later date.

To register, forms can be picked up and dropped off at Planters Bank or mailed to Donnie Dunbar, 380 Suthards Church Road, Madisonville, KY 42431. Registration is also available online on at

 Proceeds will benefit the Dawson Springs Community Center and the cross country team at the school.

The 5K route will be the same as last year’s: The runners will start at the community center at 108 W. Keigan St., then to Walnut Street, then to Oak Heights down to Planters Bank and then back.

A reception for the Dawson Springs High School Class of 1968 will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Dawson Springs Museum and Art Center.

This year, the Dawson Springs BBQ pageant will be the weekend before the Barbecue.

At 5 p.m., Saturday, July 21, contestants will vie for titles in the multipurpose room at Dawson Springs Independent Schools. Registration begins at 4 p.m.

Prospective age divisions for girls include 0 to 12 months old, 13 to 23 months, 2 to 3 years, 4 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, 9 to 13 years, 14 years old and up; and 0 to 23 months and 2 to 5 years  for boys.

Darlene McKnight, pageant organizer, said the pageant will include a Ms. and Mrs. division if there are enough entries.

A king and queen will be awarded in each category. The pageant royalty will win a crown, trophy and banner. Alternates will receive a trophy. McKnight said a most beautiful/handsome for every division will be awarded.  

Contestants can enter for $50. There is a 50-percent discount for siblings.

 Attire will be Sunday best or patriotic wear. Judges will select winners on facial beauty and personality.

 For more information, call 270-797-8616  or mail money order to Darlene McKnight, 1750 Walnut Grove Road, Dawson Springs, KY 42408.  No personal checks are accepted. McKnight will take cash, money orders or PayPal (

For more information, contact Darlene McKnight or find the event page on Facebook.