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Beshear Inauguration To Feature Traditional Pomp, Public Events

J. Tyler Franklin

Andy Beshear will be sworn in as Kentucky’s 63rd governor on Tuesday, five weeks after he defeated incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin by a little more than 5,000 votes.

Beshear’s Inauguration Day will be full of traditional pomp and circumstance that has developed since Kentucky’s first governor Isaac Shelby took office in 1792. And most of the festivities will be open to the public — a departure from some previous inaugurations.

Bevin will leave office at midnight on December 10th and Beshear will be officially sworn in during a private ceremony at 12:01 a.m. at the Governor’s Mansion.

As required by the Kentucky Constitution, Beshear will have to promise that he has never participated in a duel — a requirement of all public officials and lawyers licensed to practice in the state dating back to the 19th century, when dueling was common practice.

A delegation of Frankfort citizens will present the incoming governor’s family with a platter of beaten biscuits and country ham, a custom that custom dates back at least 100 years, when an outgoing first lady left a baked ham, white cake and a platter of biscuits for her successor.

The public portion ofInauguration Day events begin at 7:30 a.m., when the City of Frankfort will host a breakfast reception at the Kentucky History Center for inaugural visitors.

An inaugural parade will take place from 10:00 a.m. until noon and will be aired live on KET. Beshear announced that teachers will serve as grand marshals of the parade as a show of appreciation for educators who buoyed his election following opposition to outgoing Gov. Bevin’s education policies.

Beshear, incoming first lady Britainy Beshear, Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman, her husband Chris O’Bryan and all of their children will ride in open horse-drawn carriages provided by the Kentucky Horse Park.

The public swearing-in ceremony for Beshear and Coleman will take place on the Capitol steps at 2:00 followed by an open house of the Capitol building. Weather in Frankfort is forecast to be cold and rainy on Tuesday.

The Grand March, a formal presentation of Beshear, Coleman and other incoming constitutional officers, will take place at 8:00 p.m in the Capitol Rotunda and feature the Louisville Orchestra led by music director Teddy Abrams. It will also be broadcast live on KET.

Inauguration Day festivities will be capped off by two inaugural balls on the Capitol grounds that are open to the public and will last from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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