Like the majority of the country’s capital cities, Frankfort is stereotypically viewed by many outsiders as a place for big government and crooked politicians. But those of us who call Franklin County home know better, and Tuesday, with all the eyes of the commonwealth upon us for the inauguration of Gov.-elect Andy Beshear, we have a chance to showcase Frankfort and show visitors there is more to our city than the politicians who prance through for a few weeks out of the year.

Late last month, Beshear announced that all inauguration events will be free and open to the public — a change from prior inaugurations. The full day’s slate starts at 7:30 a.m. with a reception hosted by Frankfort residents at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Light breakfast foods and beverages will be available, as will access to the museum’s seasonal exhibits and the Hall of Governors.

First Christian Church, at 316 Ann St., will host a nondenominational inaugural worship service at 8:30 a.m., followed by the parade down Capital Avenue at 10 a.m.

The prelude to the inauguration, which includes musicians from across Kentucky, is set for 1 p.m. with the swearing-in ceremony to follow at 2 p.m. Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman will be sworn in first.

Unlike in previous administrations, the Capitol will be open to the public and the winners of the First Lady’s Team Kentucky poster contest will be recognized immediately after the swearing-in ceremony.

Doors open for the Grand March, a formal presentation of the governor and lieutenant governor and other constitutional officers, who will be sworn in in January, at 7 p.m. The march is planned for 8 p.m.

The public is also welcome at two inaugural balls on the Capitol grounds from 9 p.m. to midnight. Attire is black tie optional and Kentucky State Parks will cater the events, serving up some of the state’s favorite foods.

This is one of the few opportunities we get to show off our little slice of heaven. Let’s put our best foot forward and make our visitors feel welcome.

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