Times Are A Changin’

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 4, 2009 in Kentucky Derby, News | No Comments >>

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that the annual Governor’s Derby Breakfast this year will be less elaborate due to the poor economy. The yearly event is held the morning of the Kentucky Derby.

“For more than 30 years Kentucky governors and first ladies have hosted a Derby Celebration at the state Capitol,” Governor Beshear said, “and Jane (Mrs. Beshear) and I feel it’s important to continue that tradition. But while that tradition will be honored we are also taking cost-saving measures to be sensitive to our current budget crisis.”

Employees of the Kentucky Department of Parks will prepare the breakfast items and there will be a one-dollar charge for each item purchased. In the past, guests were not charged for the breakfast which was served buffet-style. There will be a lone food station.

In another cost-saving measure, tents will not be rented that in past years covered most of the top level of the Capitol Annex parking garage. This will mean a savings of about $100,000. Guests will be able to sit at picnic tables that will be situated through the Capitol grounds.

The traditional Derby train, used to move guests from downtown Frankfort to Churchill Downs in Louisville and back, has also been eliminated. Invitations will be sent electronically instead of printed and mailed.

“We are very excited with the changes for this year’s Governor’s Derby Celebration,” said Joy Jeffries, executive director of the Frankfort-Franklin County Tourism Commission. “Many good traditions will remain while adding some exciting new areas and making changes that adapt to the trying times in our commonwealth. We are very proud to work with a Governor and First Lady who are so sensitive to the needs of our citizens across the state.”

The total cost for the celebration and breakfast will be reduced by some $200,000.