FANCY FARM

The 142nd annual St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic will be held on Aug. 5-6, with political speakers set to take the stage next Saturday.

With the 142nd annual St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic approaching this weekend, members of St. Jerome are preparing for all of the events, including a packed political speaking session Aug. 6 starting at 2 p.m.

While the political banter often is the big draw for media attention, Fancy Farm Picnic Political Chairman Steven Elder said at the end of the day, the event centers around faith and community.

“It’s the coming of families and stuff, to come together and celebrate just being with one another,” Elder said.

Over the years, what was once a reliable Democratic voting bloc in Kentucky has shifted to a Republican stronghold. Elder said more and more Republican speakers have been at Fancy Farm in the last 20 years than in years prior, which has proved to be a bit challenging when the event organizers are looking to organize a good back-and-forth between politicians on separate sides of the aisle.

All in all, the political speaking event is meant to bring an opportunity for those in elected office and those whose names will show up on ballots in Fancy Farm to have a good time exchanging jabs with each other.

“It’s a fun time to come together and bring people from both parties together and just have a good time,” Elder said.

Several incumbent elected officials and candidates running for political office are lined up to speak at the Fancy Farm Picnic. Confirmed speakers include:

• State Sen. Jason Howell (R)

• State Rep. Richard Heath (R)

• Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge

• U.S. Sen Rand Paul (R) (Paul has confirmed he will be in attendance if the U.S. Senate is in recess)

• U.S. Senate Candidate Charles Booker (D)

• U.S. Congressman James Comer (R)

• Congressional Candidate Jimmy Ausbrooks (D)

• Treasurer Allison Ball (R)

• Secretary of State Michael Adams (R)

• Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R)

• Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R)

• Auditor Mike Harmon (R)

• State Rep. Savannah Maddox (R)

Gov. Andy Beshear will not be attending the Fancy Farm Picnic, and had cited a planned family trip to Israel, which he later said was canceled due to the flooding emergency in eastern Kentucky. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also recently announced she would not be attending this year’s picnic. Beshear and Coleman also missed the Fancy Farm Picnic in 2021.

With both the governor and lieutenant governor missing from the speaker lineup, no Democratic elected officials are currently set to speak at the event, although there are two Democratic candidates who are scheduled to speak.

As of last week, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had not yet confirmed whether he will attend this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic.

Quarles, Cameron, Harmon and Maddox are all running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2023.

Kentucky Speaker of the House David Osborne (R) will serve as the emcee for the political speaking event.

While the picnic is officially on Saturday, St. Jerome also has some family-friendly events planned for Friday as well.

Knights of Columbus will host a Fish Fry starting Friday at 5 p.m. Barbecue pork and mutton will be also on sale by the pound starting at 8 a.m. Aug. 6.

Other events include a 1-mile Classic Run and 5K Fun Run Friday evening, live music, Bingo and other games. There will also be food available on the picnic grounds.

A full schedule is available at stjeromefancyfarm.com/picnic.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.