Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor and First Lady Host Thousands at the Annual Governor's Derby Breakfast
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and First Lady Glenna Fletcher today welcomed thousands of citizens to the annual Governor’s Derby Breakfast at the State Capitol Complex.
“This is Kentucky’s day to shine around the world,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said. “The Governor’s Derby Breakfast is an opportunity to showcase the greatness of the commonwealth.”
As a public event, the Governor’s Derby Breakfast dates from 1972, in the administration of Governor Wendell Ford. At the first public breakfast, a few hundred people showed up for the meal. Over the years, the number of visitors has increased to thousands and has become a featured cultural event for the state.
This year, more than 15,000 citizens were served a delicious array of breakfast items prepared by the Kentucky Department of Parks. Nearly 20,000 eggs, 13,000 biscuits, 1,200 pounds of sausage and more than 15,000 cups of coffee were just some of the items that made up this annual feast.
Kentucky crafts were also on display and available for sale in the Kentucky Crafters tent. History came alive as “Henry Clay” and “Sallie Ward” told their stories in performances sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council.
Myriad activities for children were held across the complex. Some of the highlights were face painting, hat-making and visits with costumed characters, including Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture showcased various “Kentucky Proud” food products and gave out free highway maps. And classic car enthusiasts enjoyed presentations by the Capital City Classic Auto Club.
Kentucky musicians made a joyful noise throughout the air at the Governor’s Derby Breakfast. The entertainment was kicked off by the Mt. Sinai Volunteers, an African-American a cappella gospel group from Harlan County. Meanwhile, the Folklife Stage came to life when Kentucky Cabaret presented a multimedia tribute to dulcimer virtuoso Jean Ritchie. The traditional dance of clogging was carried forth by the Wildcat Cloggers from the Versailles area, as well as many other great performances by talented Kentucky entertainers.
The hot air balloons peppered the sky with an explosion of color. The balloons flew above the State Capitol Dome, to the excitement of thousands of visitors, topping off an event that has truly become a Kentucky celebration.
“The Governor’s Derby Breakfast is much more than food,” Governor Fletcher said. “This event is about family, friends and our great way of life in Kentucky.”