Local Derby celebration set for May 3

Event is now more of a street fair in Frankfort

State Journal staff report, Published:

Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear officially extended invitations Monday to the 78th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration, once a free breakfast on the Capitol grounds that has in recent years become more of a street fair in downtown Frankfort.

A full schedule of events will be released at a later date, but the May 3 program, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., does not appear to differ much from last year’s Derby Day festivities.

“Jane and I are pleased to once again host visitors in our beautiful and historic Capitol city for the Derby Celebration,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release. “Downtown Frankfort has a unique blend of landmarks, shops and restaurants that makes it the perfect backdrop for this fun-filled, family event.”

First Christian Church, at the corner of Ann St. and Broadway, for the first time will offer breakfast food for sale, from sausage biscuits to coffee, according to the press release. The church has often featured children’s activities such as pony rides, inflatable slides, face painting and crafts.

The event will also feature the farmers market at the River View Park pavilion, the YMCA’s Derby Dash for children 2-12 years old, Kentucky Horse Park trolley rides and live music on the Jim Beam Entertainment Stage, per the release.

Downtown shops will sell Derby-themed breakfast items, and visitors can tour the Capital City Museum, Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, Old State Capitol and Old Governor’s Mansion, according to the release.

“Across the world, Kentucky is known for our signature Derby festivities and our time-honored display of hospitality,” Jane Beshear said in the release. “As horse lovers, Steve and I are especially excited come Derby time and we look forward to helping host the downtown Derby Celebration every year.”

The Derby Day event started from humble beginnings as a private party for the governor’s guests, but grew to a large-scale event on the Capitol grounds that included a free breakfast. The festival moved downtown in 2011 after budget cuts cancelled the free morning offerings.

For more information on the Derby Day Celebration, visit governor.ky.gov/derbycelebration/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DerbyCelebration?fref=ts. More information on the YMCA Derby Dash, including registration, is available at www.frankfortymca.org/SpecialEvents/DerbyDash.aspx.

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