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Kentucky's 61st Governor Andy Beshear Wants to Set a Tone for Unity During Inauguration

Ryland Barton

A Democratic state lawmaker from Warren County will have an insider’s view when Governor-Elect Andy Beshear takes the oath of office in a private ceremony early Tuesday morning.   

Representative Patti Minter will attend the formal swearing-in at 12:01 a.m.  A public swearing-in ceremony will take place on the Capitol steps Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. 

Minter is one of the co-chairs of the inaugural committee and says all the festivities will emphasize unity.

"The doors of the Capitol will be open wide at the time of his inauguration to symbolize that he opened the doors to the people, when his predecessor wanted to close them and restrict access.”

For the first time, a state Capitol open house will follow the public swearing-in on the Capitol steps.  The ceremony will be emceed by three Kentucky educators, including Laura Hartke.

"Laura is a teacher and she also drives for Uber to make ends meet," Minter explained. "Governor Bevin insulted her, questioning her story, and made disparaging remarks about the fact that a teacher had to work two jobs."

Many Kentucky teachers launched a concerted effort to elect Beshear following spats with Bevin over education and pension proposals. 

Other events throughout the day on Tuesday will include a breakfast reception, worship service, a parade, musical performances, and two inaugural balls.  All events are free and open to the general public.

Public Inaugural Events

The complete list of  events include:

7:30 a.m. – Inaugural Breakfast Reception, Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

The reception, hosted by the citizens of Frankfort, is open to all inaugural visitors. The museum will offer light breakfast foods and beverages, as well as access to the museum’s seasonal exhibitions. Visitors may tour the museum, including the Hall of Governors, and learn more about the history of the Kentucky governor’s office. 

8:30 a.m. – Inaugural Worship Service, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Kentuckians are invited to participate in the worship service – a nondenominational ceremony offering solemn preparation for the day’s events.

*10 a.m. to noon – Inaugural Parade
Kentucky educators will serve as grand marshals, including 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Erin Ball of Georgetown Middle School in Scott County, and 2019 National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year Matthew Powell of Graves County Central Elementary School.

The traditional inaugural parade will begin at High St. at the Old Governor’s Mansion and will conclude in front of the Capitol. Gov. Beshear and Britainy Beshear and their children, Will and Lila, will join Lt. Gov. Coleman, husband Chris O’Bryan and their children, Will, Nate and Emma in open horse-drawn carriages provided by the Kentucky Horse Park.

1 p.m. – Inaugural Prelude, Capitol Steps

Musicians from across Kentucky will perform, including:

  • 202nd Army Band, Kentucky National Guard; Chief Warrant Officer Gregory Stepp, director
  • Harlan Boys Choir; Marilyn Schraeder and Marybeth Christman, directors
  • Northern Pulaski Middle School Honors Choir; June Correll, director
  • Louisville Eastern High School Chamber Singers; Lori J. Knapke, director

*2 p.m. – Swearing-in Ceremony, Capitol Steps
Seating is available for the public, and visitors may line up along the Capitol’s grand front steps to witness the ceremony.

The ceremony will be emceed by Kentucky educators Cathy Carter, Scott Collier and Laura Hartke, and will feature musical performances by Patricia Mathison, Jason Clayborn, Christian Bishop, the Harlan Boys Choir and Linkin’ Bridge. 

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. will swear in Gov. Beshear and Justice Michelle M. Keller of the Kentucky Supreme Court will swear in Lt. Gov. Coleman.

Immediately following Swearing-in Ceremony – State Capitol Open House

Kentuckians are welcome to tour the “people’s house” and enjoy the beautiful decorations prior to the evening’s celebrations. Winners of Mrs. Beshear’s Team Kentucky poster contest will be recognized at this time.

*8 p.m. – Grand March, Capitol Rotunda
The Grand March is a formal presentation of the governor, lieutenant governor and other constitutional officers, who will be sworn in Jan. 6. The Louisville Orchestra, led by music director Teddy Abrams, will provide music for the Grand March. Attire for this event is black tie optional. Doors will open at 7 p.m. 

9 p.m. to Midnight – Inaugural Balls, Capitol Grounds
Gov. Beshear invites Kentuckians to celebrate on Capitol grounds in two side-by-side inaugural balls adjacent to the Capitol. The parties will be catered by Kentucky State Parks and will serve some of the Commonwealth’s favorite foods. Attire for this event is black tie optional. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. 

All events are Eastern time and *events to be broadcast live on the KET network.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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