Smoke returned to the water Thursday, as Paducah’s annual Barbecue on the River festival returned for the first time following two years of pared-down events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dozens of vendors, many local and some from out of the area, set up shop between the Farmer’s Market parking lot and the Holiday Inn, filling downtown with the aroma of brisket, pork, chicken, even lamb.

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