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.