The Original Lakes Site since 1996


Lake Barkley's Trigg County Ham Festival

The Trigg County Country Ham Festival is in its 37th year of celebration! So how did celebrating a "ham" come about? Below is brief history of how it all began:

Prior to 1977, Farm-City week culminated in a bar-b-que dinner with a baking contest for county residents. While this was a wonderful time of fellowship and fun for the locals, it did not seem to be quite enough. University of Kentucky Agriculture Extension Agent, John Fourquean, did some brainstorming with other people in his office and two long time residents of the county, George Bleidt and Marvin Broadbent, Jr. It seemed that many other rural areas had festivals in either the spring or fall. Trigg County needed one also!!!!

Thus came the first Trigg County Country Ham Festival. Trigg County has long been noted for its delicacy - the country ham. A festival to preserve the craft of during hams seemed only appropriate.

Ham Festival Painted Pigs - Trigg County, Lake BarkleyThe first festival was held in downtown Cadiz, Oct. 20-22, 1977. There were approximately 30 booths, 22 entries in the Ham Show and Judging Contest, a rocking chair marathon and a Political Tricycle Race won by Judge Executive Zelner Cossey. 1982 the first parade was held. Former NFL player, and Trigg County native, Coy Bacon was the first parade grand marshall.

The World's Largest Country Ham and Biscuit debuted in 1985 during the 9th Annual Ham Festival in Cadiz. . The 4,000 pound biscuit was documented by the Guiness Book of World Records. A crowd of over 15,000 people were on hand to view the biscuit and parade with grand marshall, University of Kentucky Basketball Coach, Joe B. Hall.   The biscuit stats for Cadiz is 10.5 feet in diameter and weighs 400 pounds.  To make this world record biscuit, you need 150 pounds of flour, 2 pounds of salt, 6.5 pounds of sugar, 39 pounds of shortening, 39 cups of water, 13 gallons of buttermilk, and 16 large baked country hams, among other ingredients.  Believe it or not, you can even eat this beauty when it's all done!.

Ham Festival Painted Pigs - Trigg County, Lake BarkleyAnd since 1985, they've baked a 2,000-pound biscuit every year as part of the annual Trigg County Country Ham Festival. Once baked, the biscuit is cut in pieces, stuffed with the locally produced Broadbent's country ham and sold to benefit the Future Farmers of America and other groups.

Entertainment and activities continue to grow each year organizers are stretched to come up with something new each year. The old time favorite petting zoo and music throughout main street is still here. The Ham Show and Judging continue to be a focal point of the Saturday activities, and hand-crafted quilts are always popular.

All of Trigg County opens their community to welcome the many visitors and "home folks" who come back to Cadiz, the second weekend in October each year. This is a time to meet many new friends and renew old acquaintances.

The 37th Trigg County Country Ham Festival!

Friday & Saturday October 11 & 12, 2013

(Content credits: Cadiz Toursim,