First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
More than 125 people attend Brunch in the Garden with Jon Carloftis

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Jill Midkiff

Sell-out crowd attends second event of Old Governor’s Mansion Celebration

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A sell-out crowd of 125 guests joined First Lady Jane Beshear at the Brunch in the Garden with Jon Carloftis, the second of four events scheduled to celebrate the renovation and reopening of the historic mansion in downtown Frankfort. The event was held in the formal gardens behind the Old Governor’s Mansion.

“A garden is a special place. It is a personal space where someone can work with his or her hands and cultivate a small piece of nature on their own,” said Mrs. Beshear. “But the garden we are in today is more than that because it holds some Kentucky history. Many former governors and their families partially lived off of the food grown here. I am pleased that something so vital to our state’s governance is now welcoming and vibrant.”

Jon Carloftis, a renowned garden planner and rooftop garden designer, shared his thoughts on the fusion of history and contemporary garden plants in his presentation, “Transitioning History through a Modern Garden.” Steve Collins, son of the former Governor Martha Layne Collins, also gave a brief history of his time at the Old Governor’s Mansion. Guests enjoyed a brunch from Clare Ann’s of Frankfort.

The third event, the Governors’ Barbeque and Unbridled Spirits will be held later this evening. A truly Kentucky experience, the event will feature Bluegrass music, smoky barbeque and plenty of unbridled spirits. Guests and numerous past Kentucky governors will enjoy food prepared by Matt Falcone of Bayou Bluegrass Catering with tickets priced at $210 each.

Concluding the celebration is the Kentucky Mansion Celebration Preview Gala, a black-tie affair to be held on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Guests will be among the first to tour the mansion and will then be invited to join Gov. Steve Beshear and the First Lady for a Kentucky-proud dinner orchestrated by Wayne Masterman, owner of Frankfort’s Serafini and Lexington’s Portofino and Summit restaurants. The meal will conclude with a special dessert created by top Food Network chef, Bobby Flay, which he will specifically create for this historic event. Cost per ticket is $300.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the Kentucky Mansion Celebration premier events on Thursday and Friday evenings. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Kentucky Executive Mansions Foundation, Inc. (KEMFI), as well as the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, a one-of-a-kind facility that provides humane treatment and shelter for Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed, while working to find them adoptive homes.

The Kentucky Mansion Celebration was announced last November by First Lady Jane Beshear. The Kentucky Mansion Celebration tours begin Sept. 19 and will continue until Oct. 3. Tour hours on Tuesday and Thursday are from 10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday tours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday tour hours are from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. The Kentucky Mansion Celebration tours will be the public’s last opportunity to tour the Old Mansion until after the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at:

  • Frankfort: Commonwealth Credit Union- All Locations; Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Commission office at 100 Capital Ave.
  • Louisville: Bedded Bliss, 3936 Chenoweth Square and Hubbuch and Co. of Louisville, 1301 Herr Lane.
  • Lexington: Central Bank, 3270 Tates Creek Road, 3700 Palomar Center and 300 West Vine Street; and LV Harkness, 531 West Short Street.    

Tickets for Thursday and Friday’s events are available online at  or guests may call 502-226-6440. The renovation and celebration events are solely funded by private and in-kind donations. No public funds will be used in the gala celebration.