This Saturday, downtown Frankfort is throwing its biggest party of the year and will welcome many visitors and Kentuckians who will start their day at the Governor’s Derby Celebration.
It’s an enjoyable way for families young and old to spend Derby morning, strolling downtown to see friends, have breakfast, buy fresh, locally grown produce at the Farmers Market and purchase pork chop and steak sandwiches from the Pork Producers and Cattleman’s Association.
There’s also a medieval re-enactment on the grounds of the old Capitol, a racehorse at the Capital City Museum and Artwalk from Cornerstone Art Event Gallery on one end of Broadway to First United Methodist Church on Washington.
The event is sponsored by Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist Commission, Downtown Frankfort Inc. and the governor’s office, along with other state agencies, and supported by dozens of local volunteers.
The celebration begins at 9 a.m., with some venues and shops opening earlier.
Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear will be on hand for the first race at the Y, where 2- and 3-year olds (children) will go a quarter mile at 9 a.m. The Y will be offering children’s races throughout the day, and pre-registration is required.
Then for the first couple, it is a stroll up Broadway as they make their way to board the Governor’s Derby train, bound for Louisville, around 10 a.m.
Prior to the Governor’s Derby train rolling across Broadway, R.J. Corman’s Derby train will pass through at approximately 9:20 a.m.
At 11 a.m., Folkbike Recyclery will sponsor Pedal for the Posies. The twist? The adults will be riding small children’s dirt bikes. Frankfort businesses and individuals are sponsoring the riders on the donated bikes.
Visitors to the morning celebration can purchase fine crafts and art from artists selected to participate in the Kentucky Art’s Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program. From paintings and photographs to pottery and woodwork, there will be many wonderful items to choose from, all on the Old Capitol grounds.
And don’t forget the great locally-based entertainment scheduled for the Jim Beam Main Stage from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Sacre Bleu starting off at 10 a.m., the Downtown County Band around 11 a.m. and the Metafours around noon.
Also on the Old Capitol grounds, Salato Wildlife Center will have animals for all to enjoy and the Kentucky Book Fair will have author James Nicholson signing his new book, “The Kentucky Derby” from 9 to 11a.m.
Canoe Kentucky will have canoes and kayaks available to check out and information on its tours.
Frankfort Tourism will be set up on the grounds to give out area information as well as providing its brand new Visitor’s Guide.
If it’s a photo opportunity you’re looking for to mark the occasion, Liberty Hall Historic Site will have site information as well as cutouts for guests to have their pictures made. At the Capital City Museum, retired thoroughbred Patton from the farm of former Gov. Brereton Jones will be available for photos.
As part of the Frankfort Artwalk, Capital Cellars will showcase the etchings of Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Cornerstone, activities will fill the day including a “Carnival of the Arts” from 10 a.m. until afternoon.
A Derby Day Artist Reception will also be held in the gallery (contact David Mistich or Bianca Wall for more details) and will feature the works of Don Aters, Peggy Bishop, Susan Black, GG Burns and Regina Fierro.
Completely Kentucky will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. There will be a free kids’ art activity from 10 a.m. to noon, with Kentucky artists working in the store throughout the day. In addition there will be free food tastings and the opportunity to win Completely Kentucky gift cards.
Broadway Clay will be having a “Seconds Sale” as well as 10 percent discounts. Nitro will continue its Derby Hat sale that was kicked off by the first lady and will have special sales.
Miss P’s Kids on West Main will hold a Little Mr. & Miss Derby contest. Call 226-4946 for more details.
Beginning at 9 a.m., it’s a Derby party at Family Tree Consignment, and specials will be offered throughout the day. Along with refreshments, a prize will be awarded to the person wearing the most unique Derby hat.
The Thomas D. Clark Museum for Kentucky History will be giving away free “I Love Kentucky History” buttons and will offer a variety of family-friendly activities, including a make-your-own Derby hat station.
There will be opportunities to play basketball with 1900s rules and equipment in the “Women in Basketball” exhibit and to learn about the Commonwealth’s past leaders in the “Toyota Kentucky Hall of Governors” or a chance to shop for souvenirs in the 1792 Stewart Home School Store.
The KHS History Mobile will also be on-site, featuring the “Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln” exhibit and hobby-horse races will be held on the lawn of the Old State Capitol.
The Kentucky Military History Museum, featuring “Kentucky’s Military Treasures,” will be open free-of-charge.
In addition, New Leash on Life will celebrate its grand opening on Broadway and the Red Cross will be providing information and taking donations for its local Heroes Campaign on the grounds of the Old Capitol.
Food and drink
Join the governor and first lady on the Old Capitol lawn for the Derby Breakfast. The Kentucky Pork Producers and Kentucky Beef Producers, along with several other local vendors, will prepare and sell breakfast items to the public during the celebration.
Each picnic table on the Old Capitol grounds will be draped with decorated canvases created by schoolchildren from across the commonwealth. While enjoying your breakfast, you can also take in the talents of schoolchildren from Paducah to Ashland. This popular project encourages kids to be a part of the Derby spirit, from wherever they live in the state.
In addition to the Pork and Beef Producers serving their Kentucky-grown fare, many downtown restaurants will be serving traditional breakfast menus.
Capital Cellars on Broadway will be serving breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. both on the sidewalk and indoors and will also have drink specials. From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., they will be serving blueburgers, braubrats and chicken on the grill.
Melanie’s, Serafini and other restaurants will also be open.
Cornerstone will also feature a tasting of the spirits of Frankfort’s own Buffalo Trace Distillery. An R.S.V.P is required due to the inclusion of the alcohol tasting. Contact the gallery’s owner, Wall, at 386-7352 or by email at email@example.com. You can also call the gallery at 352-2400 for information on the day’s events.
Bistro 241 will offer a champagne brunch and grab-and-go lunches.
At the Capital City Museum, open all day, a Burgoo Brunch will be offered in a big tent adjacent to the Capital City Museum. The museum is also sponsoring a medieval tent and folks in costume on the Old Capitol lawn promoting Days of Knights Medieval Experience event at Cove Spring Park in October.
At the White Light Diner, Rick Paul will host his 20th Derby Day Brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Derby Day, the Brick Alley will open at 8 a.m. for breakfast specials from a food tent operated by OT’s Grill and Bar and continue until 2 p.m.
Happy hour lasts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with Bloody Marys, mimosas, and mint juleps for $3.50. “Stone Soup” will rock out the night with blues and Southern rock from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Street closures, parking for downtown Derby celebration
>Friday Street Closures, from 6 p.m. to midnight, will include Capitol Loop around the Capitol and Capitol Annex.
>Saturday Street Closures, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., include Broadway Street, from East Main Street to Washington Street; Catfish Alley, from West Main Street to Broadway; St. Clair Street from West Main to Broadway; and Lewis Street, from West Main Street to Clinton Street.
>Saturday no parking areas, from midnight to 2 p.m., include Ann Street, from Clinton Street to West Main Street; both sides of Broadway Street, from East Main to Washington Street; Lewis Street, from Clinton Street to West Main Street; and St. Clair Street, from West Main to Broadway.
>Public parking will be available at State Office Building, Sullivan Garage, Capital Plaza Tower, High Street and Mero Street lot. Commonwealth Credit Union will be open for accessible needs parking only.
>The downtown trolley will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will pick up on Ann Street near First Christian Church.
>The horse-drawn trolley will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will pick up near the corner of West Main Street and St. Clair Street.