Country music kicks off party

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The party started early Monday night for fans of both new Gov. Ernie Fletcher and John Michael Montgomery.

The Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center appeared near capacity at the free "Boots and Blue Jeans" inaugural concert featuring Montgomery and Rebecca Lynn Howard with fans packed all the way to the top of the bleachers and crowding the dance floor in front of the stage.

Franklin County Judge Executive Teresa Barton and Franklin County Attorney Jim Boyd showed up in their blue jeans.

So did Fletcher and wife Glenna along with new Lt. Gov. Steve Pence and his wife Ruth Ann.

Kentucky native Howard warmed up the crowd with her popular songs such as "Forgive" and "Tennessee in my windshield."

Before long, the crowd started to make its way to the dance floor.

Fletcher and his wife Glenna were spotted near the stage shortly after Howard's performance and took the stage for a moment.

"This has made the beginning of our inaugural events so special seeing all of you here," Fletcher told the crowd. "It's a new day in Frankfort."

Introduced by radio host Diedre Hall with Lexington station 98.1 The Bull as "the man with the deepest dimples in Kentucky," Montgomery came out to a crowd that was ready for him.

He electrified the crowd by playing most of his hit songs back-to-back such as "I can love you like that," "Life's a dance," "I love the way you love me," "I swear," and "Sold."

Midway, Montgomery stopped to say a few words about the real reason he was there.

"Are you all as excited as I am about our new governor, Ernie Fletcher?" he asked the crowd. "We're going to have one heck of a team for the next four years. Something we can be proud of. We're all here tonight to celebrate the future of Kentucky which is going to be very bright."

The Fletchers and Pences slipped out at 9:55 p.m. while Montgomery was singing "I swear."

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

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