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Producer: Valerie Trimble
Gubernatorial Inauguration 2007
Every four years, Frankfort’s population swells for a day as people from around the state gather to welcome a new governor to town. In this special edition of Kentucky Life, host Dave Shuffett mingles with the crowds at the December 11, 2007 inauguration of Gov. Steve Beshear to enjoy the pageantry and to get a feel for the massive preparation effort behind it.
The day begins early as horses and riders, carriages, marching bands, floats, and vehicles line up for the inaugural parade from downtown to the state Capitol. With a theme of “Kentucky First,” the 2007 parade particularly spotlighted Kentucky’s equine heritage, with more horses taking part than in any other inaugural parade since the advent of the automobile. Equine-themed units ranged from saddle horses carrying historical reenactors to stunning black Friesians and from 4-H drill teams (one riding a unique float consisting of linked wooden horses) to the Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop.
Of course, plenty of people were in the parade, too. More than 80 high school marching bands and assorted other units ranging from a giant barbecue kettle to a mini-truck fleet made sure that almost every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties was represented. Dave talks to just a few of the participants about their preparations and the excitement of taking part in the inaugural festivities.
From the parade, we move with the crowd to the swearing-in ceremony, listening in as Beshear and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo take their oaths of office, and on to the Kentucky History Center for a reception and music. Then, while the new governor, his wife, and the members of his administration prepare for the evening’s formal balls, Dave talks with several behind-the-scenes workers. A ball organizer discusses the logistics of throwing not one but three simultaneous big parties, a floral designer talks about dressing up the Capitol Rotunda with a lavish display of flowers for the elegant Grand March, and a chef explains how caterers choose and prepare a menu for a party to which the entire state is invited.
During the evening, Dave samples the balls—and the food, of course—and settles back to watch fireworks over the Capitol before calling it a night.
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