The annual Fancy Farm political event takes place this weekend, signaling the unofficial kickoff of the fall election season in Kentucky. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton said candidates will be trying to gauge support from a raucous crowd.
The festival is a fundraiser for St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in the Graves County town of Fancy Farm in far-west Kentucky.
During the picnic, organizers also cook more than 20,000 pounds of barbecued pork and mutton for attendees.
Gov. Matt Bevin has not said whether he’ll attend as questions swirl over whether he’ll seek reelection during next year’s gubernatorial contest.
Meanwhile Bevin’s top political rival and the only person to officially launch a bid for governor, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, has said he will attend.
Teachers and other state workers are expected to show up in force to the picnic to protest changes to the state’s pension system that passed earlier this year.
For more than a century the festival has attracted Kentucky politicians trying to sway voters.
In recent decades has evolved into a raucous affair where speakers insult and tease opponents while the crowd heckles and chants. Bevin’s top political rival, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, will be there.
Beshear is the only person to officially launch a bid for governor, but he’ll be joined on stage by another potential Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The event will be broadcast live on KET. Saturday at 2:30 Eastern, 1:30 Central.