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Beshear/Coleman: ‘Team Kentucky’ Inauguration Blends New and Traditional Events

Team Kentucky theme promotes unity, gratitude and common goals

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2019) – Gov.-elect Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman are adding some new additions to their Dec. 10 inauguration festivities, while also embracing many of the Commonwealth’s historic traditions.

Unique or new additions and honors made part of the 61st inauguration by Gov.-elect Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Coleman include the theme Team Kentucky, which aims to celebrate the common good and working together to build a better Commonwealth for every Kentucky family.

Beshear and Coleman also introduced a morning breakfast for educators and inauguration guests at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Hosted by the citizens of Frankfort and Franklin County, the event features breakfast, prayer, entertainment and greeting remarks by Lt. Gov. Coleman. It starts at 7:30 a.m.

To ensure all inaugural day events are in keeping with the theme, they are free and open to the public. And for the first time, inauguration day will feature a Capitol open house, where Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman will open the doors of the Capitol to educators and Kentuckians in attendance. Winners of Mrs. Beshear’s Team Kentucky poster contest will be recognized at this time and their art will be on display in the Capitol.

“It is important that we set the right tone on day one of our administration – and that means adding new ways to unite Kentuckians, recognize our educators and make everyone feel welcome in Frankfort,” Gov.-elect Beshear said. “As we embark on this new chapter, we must come together on one team – Team Kentucky – and move forward together.”

While Gov.-elect Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Coleman are excited about the new events of the day, they also look forward to the many inaugural customs that have become synonymous with the event over the past 227 years.
“We are excited to be in Frankfort with Kentuckians celebrating our Kentucky heritage and inaugural traditions,” said Lt. Gov.-elect Coleman.

The traditions begin just after midnight Monday, when Gov.-elect Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman will take their oaths of office in a private swearing-in in the Governor’s Mansion. A crowd of more than one hundred guests will witness the swearing-in and Gov. Beshear’s first official act, which will be to issue an executive order naming the new adjutant general of Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Haldane Lamberton. The private swearing-in includes prayers from several of Kentucky’s faith leaders and ensures continuity in the offices. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller will administer the oaths of office.

At 8 a.m., another time-honored tradition will take place as a delegation of Frankfort residents bring country ham, beaten biscuits and white cake to the Beshear family. This tradition, which has been followed for the past 100 years, is said to have started when an outgoing first lady left a baked ham, cake and a platter of beaten biscuits on the dining table for the incoming first family.

At 8:30 a.m., the historic inauguration day worship service takes place as religious leaders representing faith traditions across Kentucky lead a nondenominational worship service praying for all Kentucky’s elected leaders. The service will be held at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Frankfort and offers a solemn preparation for the events of the day.

Kentuckians are invited to attend the service, which does have limited seating, or watch it online at For those in Frankfort, the Frankfort Plant Board will also carry the service on channels 10 and 510. To support Kentucky’s vulnerable families, worshipers are invited to bring coats and toys to donate to local organizations.

After the morning worship service at First Christian Church, Gov. Beshear, first lady Britainy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Coleman and her husband, Chris O’Bryan, will travel by horse-drawn carriage in the inaugural parade – up High Street, across the Kentucky River via the Capital Avenue bridge and continuing until they reach the Capitol.

Governors and their families have ridden on horseback, in carriages and in automobiles in past inaugural parades. In his autobiography, Happy Chandler alludes to the fact that he was one of the first governors in numerous years to bring back the tradition of riding in a carriage, as he did to his swearing-in ceremony in 1935. The inaugural parade also features the Kentucky National Guard Color Guard and the 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National Guard.

During their public swearing-in ceremony, Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman will take Kentucky’s historic oath of office, which still features language regarding duels. The current oath of office dates to 1850 when concerns over dueling and deaths that resulted from the practice led lawmakers to place a largely unenforced law regarding duels into the state Constitution, where it remains today.

One of the longest-lived traditions is the inaugural ball that ends the day’s celebration. For this inauguration, the governor and lieutenant governor requested that the evening events be free and open to the public. Two balls, the Kentucky Ball and the Commonwealth Ball, will be held on the state Capitol grounds beginning at 9 p.m. on inauguration day, with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Known at first as “Inaugural Hops,” the early balls were held in the House of Representatives chamber of the Old State Capitol. By 1855, the inaugural ball had moved to the old Capital Hotel on Main Street, which had built a ballroom for the purpose in 1853.

After the turn of the century, because of the growing crowds, the inaugural ball was held in the Old Skating Colosseum on Second Street in Frankfort. In 1915, the new Capitol was chosen as the permanent site for the ball. A ballroom built in the new Governor’s Mansion especially for the inaugural ball was never used because it could not accommodate the growing crowds.

To learn more about the 61st Inauguration, including complete details of both new and traditional events, and information, including designated parking areas, a Frankfort tourist map, the order of parade participants and an entertainment schedule, visit the inauguration website at

Follow the official social media accounts of Gov.-elect Beshear and Lt. Gov.-elect Coleman for inaugural post and updates. Beshear’s official accounts are Facebook: @GovAndyBeshear; Twitter: @GovAndyBeshear; Instagram: GovernorAndyBeshear. Coleman’s official accounts are Facebook: @LtGovColeman; Twitter: @LtGovColeman; Instagram: LtGovColeman.