Lots of free entertainment at tomorrow’s gubernatorial inauguration [Opinion: The Arena]

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Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson

Tomorrow’s inaugural festival down the road in Frankfort promises to provide plenty of free entertainment for folks willing to take a little time off work to make a short trip on Interstate 64 to the Commonwealth’s capital.  Kentucky musicians, vocalists and other performers will entertain the crowds at the state’s 59th Inauguration on December 13. Many events surrounding the public swearing in of Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Governor-elect Jerry Abramson are free and open to the public.

Governor Invite 2011.jpg“The inaugural ceremony is a celebration of what makes our Commonwealth special, and one of the best features of our state is our commitment to the arts,” said Bob Stewart, inauguration executive director. “We’ve worked hard to bring together some of the most talented entertainers in Kentucky for this historic event.”

Entertainers from all corners of the state will take part in the celebration – including the Harlan Boys Choir, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, and 54 high school marching bands.

All public events are free, open to the public and handicap accessible.

Entertainment Schedule for Public Inaugural Events

•  8:30 a.m. – Inaugural Worship Service, Frankfort Convention Center

    Kentucky State University Choir, Bob Blair, organist, Colmon Elridge, executive assistant to the Governor, vocalist

•  10 a.m. - noon – Inaugural Parade

    54 high school marching bands representing Kentucky counties

•  2 p.m. – Swearing-in Ceremony, Capitol

    Harlan Boys Choir, 202nd Army Band, Kentucky National Guard, Dr. Everett McCorvey and Alicia Helm McCorvey, University of Kentucky Opera Department

•  3:30 p.m. – Public Inaugural Reception, Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

    Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble with Dr. Leon Richard, The Frankfort Children Singers, Joanna Hay and Stirfry

•  9 p.m. – Governor’s Inaugural Celebration, Frankfort Convention Center

Frankfort Rolls Out the Welcome for Visitors to 59th Inauguration

Governor Invite 2 2011.jpgKentucky’s historic capital city, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) and local businesses will welcome visitors to Frankfort on Dec. 13 for Inauguration Day activities.  Special family-friendly events are planned at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, which also will be the site of a public afternoon reception for Governor Steve Beshear. The theme for the all-day activities is “I Love Kentucky History,” which complements the overall inaugural theme of  the 59th Inauguration, “Kentucky Tomorrow.”

Following the 2 p.m. swearing-in activities at the Capitol, Gov. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear, and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Madeline Abramson will be the honored guests at a 3:30 p.m. public inauguration party at the Center for Kentucky History. The public is invited to join the celebration as local residents, representing their fellow Frankfort citizens, bear country ham, biscuits and white cake in a popular Kentucky tradition dating back at least 100 years.

Refreshments will be available. There is no admission charge for the party.

“Frankfort residents are honored to host the inaugural festivities every four years, and be a part of history in the making,” said Joy Jeffries, executive director of the Frankfort-Franklin County Tourist & Convention Commission. “We hope other Kentuckians will join us this year, especially since a new route will take the Inaugural Parade through the heart of our downtown district. We’re excited to showcase some of what makes Frankfort a unique place, rich in history and a vibrant place for business.”

The Frankfort-Franklin County Tourist & Convention Commission has produced an Inauguration Day Survival Guide brochure with a schedule of events, lists of local shopping and eating establishments, and a map. There is information on street closings, parking options and parade and shuttle routes. The guide will be available at the commission’s office at the corner of Second Street and Capital Avenue, and from downtown stores on Broadway.

Information about street closings is also available on the inauguration website: http://governor.ky.gov/inauguration. With this year’s parade route traveling along Broadway in Frankfort’s historic district, a variety of downtown merchants and eateries, as well as other local businesses, invite Inauguration Day visitors to check out some of the capital city’s unique offerings. Several businesses on Broadway will be offering lunch specials or Inauguration Day sales or discounts, according to Downtown Frankfort Inc.

At the Center for Kentucky History, families can enjoy musical performances and brief historical plays. Guests also may take a special tour of the center’s research library, where the Ron Morgan Postcard Collection features more than 10,000 images from Kentucky’s past.

Exhibitions at the Center for Kentucky History are free of charge on Dec. 13, including the newly renovated “Toyota Kentucky Hall of Governors.” The inaugural gown worn by First Lady Jane Beshear in 2007 will be on display. Also open on inauguration day are the other properties of the KHS campus, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum. Those sites also are admission-free on Dec. 13.

For a full schedule of all the inaugural events, including the nondenominational worship service, parade, public swearing-in and ball, please visit www.governor.ky.gov/inauguration.

Previous articles:

Beshear and Abramson will have to abjure dueling next Tuesday

You are invited to Gov. Beshear’s inaugural party. And it’s free.

Beshear Abramson Victory.jpg

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

About Thomas McAdam
At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.
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