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Beshear set to become Kentucky’s 63rd governor; full slate of public inauguration day activities planned

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A full day of activities is in store today as Andy Beshear assumes his duties to become the 63rd governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Beshear will follow in the footsteps of his father Steve, who was a two-term governor from 2007-2015. They are the first father-son to be governors in Kentucky.

Andy Beshear

Activities are free and open to the public, but some extra layers of clothes or heavy coats are recommended for what could be a blustery cold day. The National Weather Service is calling for a chance of rain and snow before 10 a.m., then a 30% chance of snow in the afternoon. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 36. West winds between 7 and 13 mph are expected.

Here is how the day will unfold:

At 12:01 am (EST), Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman took their oaths of office in a private swearing-in in the Governor’s Mansion. More than 100 special guests will witness the swearing-in and Gov. Beshear’s first official act, issuing an executive order naming the new adjutant general of Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Haldane Lamberton.

The private swearing-in includes prayers from several of Kentucky’s faith leaders and ensures continuity in the offices. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller will administer the oaths of office.

At 7:30 in the morning, Beshear and Coleman start a new tradition, a morning breakfast for educators and inauguration guests at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Hosted by the citizens of Frankfort and Franklin County, it features breakfast, prayer, entertainment and greeting remarks by Coleman.

At 8, another time-honored tradition will take place, as a delegation of Frankfort residents bring country ham, beaten biscuits and white cake to the Beshear family. This tradition, which has been followed for the past 100 years, is said to have started when an outgoing first lady left a baked ham, cake and a platter of beaten biscuits on the dining table for the incoming first family.

At 8:30, the historic inauguration day worship service takes place as religious leaders representing faith traditions across Kentucky lead a nondenominational worship service praying for all Kentucky’s elected leaders. The service will be at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Frankfort and offers a solemn preparation for the events of the day.

At 10, Beshear, first lady Britainy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Coleman and her husband, Chris O’Bryan, will travel by horse-drawn carriage in the inaugural parade, up High Street, across the Kentucky River via the Capital Avenue bridge and continuing until they reach the Capitol. The inaugural parade also features the Kentucky National Guard Color Guard and the 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National Guard.

At 1 p.m., The Inaugural Prelude on the Capitol steps will feature choirs and the Kentucky National Guard’s 202nd Army Band.

At 2 p.m., Beshear and Coleman will receive their public swearing-in and deliver their inaugural addresses.

After the swearing-in, guests are invited to an open house inside the Capitol, after which there will be a several hour break before the evening’s festivities.

At 8 p.m., the Grand March inside the Capitol will be a formal presentation of Beshear, Coleman and other Constitutional officers, with music by the Louisville Orchestra.

From 9 p.m. to midnight will see the inaugural balls in two large tents on the Capitol grounds.

All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the midnight swearing-in.

For more information on the activities, go to kentucky.gov.

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