130TH FANCY FARM PICNIC
The 130th Fancy Farm Picnic will be this next Saturday Aug. 7. It is drawing major news coverage, NOT because of the book signing I have been invited to do during the picnic, but because of the Nov. Senatorial race. Republican Candidate & Tea Party supported Rand Paul (son of Presidential candidate Ron Paul) and Democratic candidate Attorney General Jack Conway should draw major crowds. It is being shown live on KET and will be shown for the first time on C-Span.
Fancy Farm Picnic is famous as a traditional political gathering attracting statewide and occasionally national candidates. The picnic began in 1880 as a purely local affair. It takes place mostly on the grounds of Fancy Farm Elementary School. Since 1956 it has been held on the first Saturday in August. It has come to represent the traditional starting point of the fall campaign season in Kentucky.
The picnic was of purely local interest until A.B. "Happy" Chandler began making appearances, going for the first time in 1931 while running for Lieutenant Governor.
National figures that have made speeches include George C. Wallace and Al Gore. Vice President Alben Barkley, known for his oratorical skills, spoke many times over the years before his death in 1956.
In addition to the political appearances, the picnic offers traditional fair activities like Craft items, book signings, bingo, and raffle prizes. Food includes barbecue, a Knights of Columbus fish fry, and homemade baked goods.
The event was recognized in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Largest Picnic", for the consumption of 19,000 pounds of mutton, pork, and chicken. The picnic is profitable and proceeds are used to finance local improvements. About 12,000 to 15,000 people attend each year.
Stop by the Country Store in the Knights of Columbus Hall (Just across from the dining area,) to get a copy of my cookbook "Favorite Recipe of Kentucky Celebrities.” It has recipes from Gov. Steve Beshears, Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S Representative Ed Whitfield, & former Vice-President Alben Barkley (sent by his granddaughter).