Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is promising the 59th inauguration ceremonies will cost significantly less than prior ones, but will still offer many free events suitable for families.
Celebrating a landslide victory, Beshear will be sworn into office December 13 along with Lt. Governor-elect Jerry Abramson during a full day of festivities.
The theme is “Kentucky Tomorrow” with both Beshear and Abramson encouraging citizens to recognize and consider the swearing in ceremony as a day of service.
“We are very mindful of the current economic hardships across Kentucky as we plan this inauguration. We are looking at every possible way to be frugal. The vast majority of the cost of the inauguration will be covered by private funds,” Beshear said in a news release.
For the full schedule, check below.
Public Inaugural Events
All events below are free, open to the public and handicap accessible.
8:30 a.m. – Inaugural Worship Service, Frankfort Convention Center
Due to the change in location from a local church to the Frankfort Convention Center, this year marks the first time in recent years the inaugural worship service will be open to the public. Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth are invited to participate in the worship service – a nondenominational ceremony offering solemn preparation for the day’s events.
Worshippers and attendees are encouraged to drop off new toys or monetary donations at the service to benefit the Kentucky National Guard’s Operation Military Cheer, a program that supports Kentucky military families in need during the holiday season.
*10 a.m.- noon – Inaugural Parade
The traditional inaugural parade will begin at the intersection of Wilkinson Boulevard and Broadway Street and will conclude in front of the Capitol.
Gov. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear, and Lt. Governor-elect Abramson and Mrs. Abramson will wave to the crowd from open horse-drawn carriages provided by the Kentucky Horse Park.
*2 p.m. – Swearing-in Ceremony, Capitol
Visitors may line up along the Capitol’s grand front steps to witness Gov. Beshear take his oath of office. This inauguration marks only the second time in the state’s history that a sitting governor will be sworn in to a second consecutive term. The ceremony will be emceed by Gov. Beshear’s younger son, Andrew. A musical prelude begins at 1 p.m. and seating is available for the public.
Lt. Governor-elect Abramson will be sworn in first, followed by the oath of office for Gov. Beshear. Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. will administer the oath to both officials.
3:30 p.m. – Public Inaugural Reception, Kentucky History Center
The reception, hosted by the citizens of Frankfort, is open to all inaugural visitors. The museum will offer snacks and beverages, as well as an exhibit of Kentucky’s prior inaugurations. Visitors are invited to tour the museum and learn more about the history of the Kentucky governor’s office. The Hall of Governors at the museum was recently remodeled and will be open to the public during this event.
*8 p.m. – The Grand March, Capitol
The Grand March is a formal presentation of the Governor, newly-elected Lieutenant Governor and other constitutional officers, who will be sworn in Jan. 2. Music for the Grand March will be provided by the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. Attire for this event is black tie optional. Doors will open for this event at 7 p.m.
9 p.m. – Governor’s Inaugural Celebration, Frankfort Convention Center
Instead of several balls at multiple locations, Gov. Beshear requested a single, centralized celebration for all Kentuckians in Frankfort. This inaugural ball will be catered by Kentucky State Parks and will serve some of the Commonwealth’s favorite foods. Attire for this event is black tie optional. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and guests will be able to watch a live broadcast of the Grand March via on-site viewing screens.
*Events to be broadcast live on the Kentucky Education Television network.