A new, family-friendly celebration showcases the unique spirit of the commonwealth
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 19, 2022) – Today Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear invited Kentuckians to the Capitol on Saturday, April 30, for a festive outdoor event that kicks-off Derby Week in the commonwealth.
“We’re thrilled to bring in the Derby excitement by having a celebration of community, resilience and tradition – right here at the state’s Capitol,” Gov. Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear said. “As the world begins to look to Churchill Downs for the most exciting two minutes in sports, let’s take time to look to one another in unity and celebrate the true essence of Kentucky. We as a commonwealth have so much to be proud of as we step onto the world’s center stage.”
The Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-off will take place Saturday, April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. EDT on the South Lawn of the Capitol – the area directly behind the Capitol building and in front of the Capitol Annex. To view a map of the location with event details, click here.
“This event will offer live music, arts vendors, food trucks, Derby-themed crafts, a farmers market and much more,” Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said. “My family and I are excited to join the Governor and First Lady and everyone in attendance as we celebrate what makes us uniquely Kentucky.”
The Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-off will host family-friendly festivities and entertainment such as:
Arts and Crafts Vendors
Talented artisans from across the state will set up retail booths ranging from wonderful works of unique art such as wheel-thrown pottery, printing press demonstrations, flowers created from recycled material and much more.
“Team Kentucky’s official Derby Week Kick-off celebration expands the anticipation of the Kentucky Derby to communities outside of Louisville,” Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry said. “The celebration brings artists, musicians and famous Kentucky cuisine to the Capital City to highlight the best that Kentucky has to offer.”
The Franklin County Farmers Market
The farmers market will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature fresh, locally grown produce, breads, spreads, honey, canned goods, eggs, meats, herbs, perennial plants, vegetable plants and more. Participating farmers and producers come from Franklin and surrounding counties and sell locally grown and produced Kentucky Proud products.
“The market is incredibly excited to partner with Gov. Beshear’s office for this event. We too believe that there is much to celebrate alongside one of Kentucky’s most revered traditions, the Derby,” Kellie Sebastian, market manager at Franklin County Farmers Market, said. “The last few years have highlighted the need for tight-knit communities and robust local food systems. As a market, we strive to provide a place for local growers and producers to sell their products. Our secondary goal is to enrich the community that supports us. There are few things more synonymous with Kentucky than bourbon, horses and farms. Stop by the onsite market to check out our meats, breads, plants and crafts as we honor the traditions that forged this commonwealth.”
Four food trucks will be stationed: Community Que, Dueling Chopstix, The Flying Waffle and Crave Street Kitchen.
An eclectic group of local bands will perform live throughout the course of the event. Performing Saturday will be Native Invaders, Sorry Atari, The Craw Daddies and Small Batch Brass.
Kids Crafting/Game Stations
There will be stations for creating Derby-themed crafts, which include making your own Derby hat, designing a bouquet of roses out of pipe cleaners, decorating a hot air balloon using clothing buttons and painting your own horseshoe or jockey silks, and there will be pool noodle horse races.
Beer and Bourbon Garden
Members of the Governor’s administration have partnered with a contingent of brewers and distillers, including Sig Luscher Brewery, the Kentucky Guild of Brewers (KGB), the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) and the Louisville Ale Trail in hosting a beer and bourbon tasting event on Capitol grounds known as the Commonfest.
“The Commonfest highlights the historic connections between Kentucky breweries and distilleries, specifically the significance of the Kentucky Common style of beer to Kentucky’s distilling and brewing heritage,” Tim Luscher, president of Sig Luscher Brewery and organizer of the Commonfest said. “A bier/bourbon garten featuring KGB and KDA members will be onsite, and breweries will be offering beer sales by the pour. Also, a limited supply of branded glassware will be provided.”
“The City of Frankfort is proud to host Commonfest, a festival full of Kentucky musicians, artists, breweries and distilleries celebrating a uniquely Kentucky beer,” Mayor Wilkerson said. “We welcome friends and families from near and far to enjoy what will certainly become a uniquely Kentucky tradition!”
“I am very excited about the new celebration kicking off Derby Week in Franklin County,” Judge/Executive Wells said. “It will bring our local distillers, such as Sig Luscher, brewers and community together in a way that is uniquely Kentucky distilled. This is always a special time in our state, and I predict that Commonfest will quickly become a staple among our other traditional events.”
Click here to watch a video message from Gov. Andy Beshear.