20,000 may come to inauguration

By BETH CRACE, CHARLES PEARL, MELISSA ARNOLD, and Published:

At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday Gov.-elect Ernie Fletcher will be sworn in as Kentucky's next governor amid a private audience in the Capitol rotunda.

By mid-morning a crowd some estimate to be as large as 20,000 can see the state's new governor and his entourage as he takes part in an inaugural celebration set to last all day - and well into the evening.

Dignitaries and political watchers from around the state are expected for inaugural events which include a free concert, church service, parade, swearing-in ceremony, receptions, Grand March and three inaugural balls.

According to staff at the Frankfort Tourist and Convention Commission, local hotels started filling up immediately following the Nov. 4 election. Large numbers of travelers are expected to hit the roads early in the week to see Fletcher, who is the first Republican in 32 years to capture the governor's seat.

As of Friday, the Holiday Inn, Hampton, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Best Western were full.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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