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PADUCAH -- It may not be on the riverfront this year. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some barbecue while benefiting local charities. Barbecue OFF the River begins this week.

The event is an alternative to Barbecue on the River, a Paducah tradition that had drawn tens of thousands of people downtown every fall to eat barbecue at dozens of vendors, with proceeds going to local charities. The event raises about $400,000 for charities every year.

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"People have often told me that Barbecue on the River is the heartbeat of September in our region, and we feel that way too," said Executive Director Susie Coiner. "The delicious, one-of-a-kind food that you get one time a year, probably anywhere in this world, is the benefit. The camaraderie and the fellowship and the working together that every single person - that's why we call it a community charitable event - brings to the table when they attend our event."

This would have been Barbecue on the River's 26th year. But in July, Coiner announced that the festival was canceled to prioritize the health and safety of the visitors, vendors and volunteers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Team J-MACK at work during Barbecue on the River in 2019

To allow some participants to continue selling barbecue to support local charities, Coiner and the Barbecue on the River board organized Barbecue OFF the River. which will run from Thursday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 26.

"We've had a lot of positive reaction to that. Yes, everyone wants to be downtown in a group. But this is a satellite opportunity for all of us, including me, because I already have my route picked out of what I'm getting and how I'm getting it first," said Coiner. "It's really amazing, I think, when you have an organization, and participants and vendors, and a community that all work so well together. So really was a natural, kind of smooth transition in the middle of COVID and crazy kind of year."

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Barbecue OFF the River features 10 participants selling barbecue sandwiches, ribs, deserts and more. You can see details about how you can order from them on Additional details are at the end of this article. Proceeds from their sales go toward their chosen charities.

"I do miss seeing all the people that I would normally see," Coiner said. "I keep telling myself, 'Go back to charity. Go back to the heartbeat, and take that extra step and donate to someone or give somebody a smile, because it's also about that camaraderie and fellowship."

One of the participants is the Kiwanis Club of Paducah, which is selling barbecue to raise money for local children.

"Some of the biggest programs that we have are things like scholarships. And so we give away over $20,000 in scholarships for both city and county schools, as well as some of the private schools," said Kiwanis Club President Nicholas Morris. "We give away bicycles to both county and city schools as well."

Morris said despite the event being off the river this year, they've already received more preorders for box lunches this year than last year.

"We're all 100% volunteers. So without doing fundraising and being able to do things like this, wouldn't allow us to help the kids and support kids like we normally would," said Morris.

"To a lot of people, it's participant. But to me, it's family," Coiner added. "You know, these people, we've all worked together to create a beautiful mission."

Below are details on how you can order from each of the 10 participants of Barbecue OFF the River:

A&J Bar-B-Q

Location: 1004 N. 13th St., Paducah (Corner of North 13th Street and Park Avenue)

Charity: Clarence Gaines Memorial

Menu: BBQ mutton, mutton shanks, ribs, chicken, pork, super-loaded nachos, super-loaded potatoes, and other fixings.

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 24 to 26, 11 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Order on site.

Contact: 270-442-3683


Bear and Cub BBQ

Location: 3460 Lone Oak Rd., Paducah

Charity: Hearts for Babies / Bears Cares Charitable, Inc.

Menu: Pulled pork sandwich, pork nachos, ribs, barbecue dinner plate, funnel cakes, deep fried Twinkies and Oreos

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 24 to 26, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Walk-up orders are welcome.

Contact: 618-201-7187

Although the pre-order deadline was originally Sunday, Sept. 20, people can continue to pre-order by visiting the Bear on the Air Facebook page.


World Famous Buzzard Brothers

Location: Nissan of Paducah, 3164 Park Ave., Paducah

Charity: Community Kitchen

Menu: BBQ pork, ribs, chicken, nachos, bologna, sides and drinks

Hours: Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26., 11 a.m to 8 p.m. each day. A drive-through will be set up.

Contact Rich Althouse: 270-559-5949

The drive-through menu can be seen on the Buzzard Brothers BBQ Facebook page.


Easterseals West Kentucky and Q Krew

Location: 801 N. 29th St., Paducah

Charity: Easterseals West Kentucky

Menu: BBQ nachos, pork plate, brisket plate, BBQ sandwich, brisket sandwich, ribs

Hours: Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drive-through will be set up at the Child Development Center at 801 N. 29th St.

(Deliveries for preorders will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The preorder deadline has already passed.)

Contact: 270-444-9687.

The drive-through menu can be seen on the Easterseals West Kentucky Facebook page.


Elvis' Place

Location: Family Service Society, 827 Joe Clifton Dr., Paducah

Charity: Family Service Society

Menu: Corn dogs, ribbon fries, funnel cakes, sausages, Philly cheese steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, lemon, strawberry and orange shake-ups, and more

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 24 to 26, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

For more info, visit the Family Service Society Facebook page.


Friends & Kin

Location: Cesa Contractors, Inc., 7729 U.S. Highway 62 West, Calvert City

Charity: Relay for Life

Menu: BBQ sandwiches, BBQ plates, ribs, rib plates, brisket, brisket plates, bologna

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 24 to 26, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or when items sell out

Contact Jeff Story: 270-205-0897


Highland Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Location: 3950 Lovelaceville Rd. Paducah

Charity: Highland Cumberland Presbyterian Church and local charities

Menu: Frozen chocolate-dipped key lime pie on a stick

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 24 to 26, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or when items sell out

Deliveries for 10 items or more will be on Thursday and Friday.

Preorders can still be made through Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Contact: 270-519-2565

For more info, visit the Highland Cumberland Presbyterian website or Facebook page.


Jenny's Paradise Snow

Location: 3101 Lone Oak Rd., Paducah

Charity: Lone Oak Youth Baseball & Softball Association

Menu: Shaved ice (snow cones)

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, Sept 24 to 26, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: 270-933-3428

For more info, visit the Jenny's Paradise Snow Facebook page.


Kiwanis Club of Paducah

Location: Soirées Events & Catering, 2069 Irvin Cobb Dr., Paducah

Charity: Various youth-related charities

Menu: BBQ sandwiches and by the pound, BBQ chicken, ribs, BBQ mac and cheese, and BBQ nachos

DEADLINE EXTENDED: MUST PREORDER BY 4:30 P.M. ON TUESDAY, SEPT. 22. Walk-in quantities will be limited if available.

Hours: Deliveries will be available for lunch on Thursday, Sept. 24 and Friday, Sept. 25 (minimum order of seven items for delivery). Pickup will be available from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Contact: 270-556-0796

Visit the Kiwanis Club of Paducah Facebook page or click here for the order form.


Ozeans Ribs

Location: 635 Ohio St., Paducah

Charity: The Brotherhood

Menu: BBQ chicken, ribs, pork plates and drinks


Hours: Thursday and Friday, Sept 24 and 25, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

People who did not preorder can still stop by at the above times and order. But it is preferred that you call 270-556-5904 to let them know what you want to order.

For more info, visit the Burks Chapel AME Church Facebook page.