A cannon shot from the Kentucky Military History Museum will officially kick off the inaugural parade for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in downtown Frankfort. More than 4,150 parade participants, including 54 high school marching bands, will travel up Capital Avenue toward the Capitol where Gov. Beshear will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. for his second term as the state’s 61st governor.
The parade for Kentucky’s 59th inauguration will travel along Broadway and proceed directly through Frankfort’s historic downtown district, where many merchants along the route have planned special activities for parade spectators.
Gov. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear, and Lt. Gov.-elect Jerry Abramson and Madeline Abramson will travel the parade route in open horse-drawn carriages provided by the Kentucky Horse Park. They will also greet parade participants from the reviewing stand at the steps to the Capitol.
The Army and Air National Guard Colors and 202nd Army Band will open the parade, and a combined Franklin County high school band, called the Capital City All School Marching Band, will conclude the event around noon.
2012 Teacher of the Year Kimberly Shearer, an English teacher at Boone County High School, will be the grand marshal and will travel the parade route with singing and community theatre groups, Boy Scout troops and other state dignitaries. Former governors and all constitutional officers-elect will ride in the parade, along with the outgoing auditor and secretary of state.
The parade also will feature the Centre College Vice Presidential Debate Unit, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority College Information Road Show, and a Horses and Hope pink Mustang sponsored by Paul Miller Ford of Lexington. Horses and Hope is Mrs. Beshear’s initiative to raise breast cancer awareness within Kentucky’s horse industry.
The numerous high school marching bands are from all across the Commonwealth, and their sizes range from 20 to 225 students. Many counties are combining multiple high schools to form all-county bands. A complete list of high school marching bands is available at the inaugural website at www.governor.ky.gov/inauguration.
The public is welcome to attend the inaugural parade and should note certain street closings before and during the event. For a complete list of these closings, visit the inaugural website.