Governor’s Derby Breakfast Relocated, Changed

On Derby Day 1936, Kentucky Governor Happy Chandler invited a few friends over to the governor’s mansion for breakfast. By the 1990’s, 15,000 people were showing up at the State Capitol every year for free country ham, eggs and biscuits.

But Bob Stewart, who’s coordinating this year’s event, says the state can no longer afford that kind of extravagance.

“In today’s day and age with the fiscal realities that we have, I just don’t think taxpayers in Kentucky can, or should, sustain that kind of expense anymore – as wonderful as it was in days past when we were a little more flush,” he says.

This year, the the event is being called the 75th Governor’s Derby Celebration and it’s moving to downtown Frankfort, which now has 17 restaurants. There will be musical entertainment, arts and crafts exhibits and children’s activities.

Governor and Mrs. Beshear will drop by the event before departing to Louisville for the Derby.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.