With a little less than a month to go, organizers of “Breathitt County Day” in Frankfort are making final preparations to make this year's event – the seventh annual one – to exceed last year's record turnout. They hope to tie into this November's elections for state offices, by inviting Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to the festivities, which will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, starting at 10 a.m. at VFW Post # 4075, located at the corner of East Second Street and Capital Avenue in Frankfort, just five blocks away from the Kentucky State Capitol.
“We had over 125 people attend last year's 'Breathitt County Day,' and it just gets bigger and better,” said state Rep. “Teddy” Edmonds, one of the main organizers of the day, which he says gives those currently or formerly living in Breathitt County a chance to meet new friends and get reacquainted with old ones.
“Six years ago, people who live in Central Kentucky and who are from Elkatawa, Noctor, Clayhole or Frozen didn't have much of a chance to see their friends from home, and likewise, those of us who now live in Jackson, Quicksand, Canoe or Lost Creek didn't have contact with their friends up in the Bluegrass region,” Edmonds told the Times-Voice from his Frankfort office. “This gives them a chance to catch up on news, families and activities between the two groups. We're planning for it to be a good day this year.”
“We have invited several of the statewide candidates, and we hope that many of them will respond,” said Doug Terry, who works with the Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort and along with Edmonds and former Quicksand resident and former Frankfort Vice-Mayor Kathy Carter is one of the day's organizers. “Both Gov. Steve Beshear of the Democrats and state Senate President David Williams of the Republicans have been invited, along with some of the other candidates, such as those running for Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor and so forth.”
Terry and Carter will make the opening remarks during the day, along with a welcome from VFW State Commander (and Breathitt County native) Carlos Pugh, and Frankfort Mayor Gippy Graham.
The presentation for this year's Outstanding Breathitt Countian will be made by last year's winner, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Mary Noble, and after a lunch of cold cuts and bologna sandwiches, soup beans, cornbread, Moon Pies and RC Cola, author Jerry “Buck” Deaton will read passages from his book, “Appalachian Ghost Stories: Tales from Bloody Breathitt”.
During the lunch break, those attending can also visit craft booths set up in the VFW hall, featuring the works of Deaton, along with artist Connie Combs, editor and Kentucky Explorer publisher Charles Hayes and other Breathitt Countians. Music will again be provided by the Fabulous Spencer Family and O. H. Napier, and an update on the upcoming play, “Breathitt: Bloody, Beautiful” will be given by the Breathitt County Arts, Heritage and Tourism Committee.
Just like last year, the group has a page set up on the social media Internet site Facebook, where information on Breathitt County Day can be accessed, along with pictures from last year's and previous years' events, and updates on current activities. To get there, go to Facebook and type in the “Search” window at the top of the page, “Breathitt County Day in Frankfort”, then click on the “Search” icon to the right.