A country music star will perform at Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s second inauguration, while health care workers and public school educators will serve as grand marshals of the parade as details of the daylong ceremonies on Dec. 12 came into focus on Thursday.
Other inaugural events in Kentucky’s capital city will include a breakfast reception, worship service and nighttime ball as Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman begin their second four-year terms.
The Democratic governor defeated Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron in the Nov. 7 election to settle one of the nation’s most closely watched campaigns of 2023.
Beshear, who raised his national profile by winning reelection in a decidedly Republican-trending state, will lay out themes for the second half of his governorship during his inaugural speech.
The inauguration ceremony in the afternoon will include a performance by country music star Tyler Childers, a native of Lawrence County in eastern Kentucky. Beshear said Thursday that he got to know Childers when the singer performed at an Appalachian Regional Commission conference.
“You could tell how important home and place is to him,” Beshear said at his weekly news conference.
Kentucky natives-turned-stars like Childers and rapper Jack Harlow serve as ambassadors for the Bluegrass State, the governor said. Beshear has formed a friendship with Harlow.
“What we’re seeing right now is, whether it is in entertainment or in other areas, so many Kentuckians not only succeeding but really proud of being a Kentuckian,” Beshear said. “And I think that’s really important, as we are rewriting our history and we’re writing a new future.”
Beshear is looking to build on the state’s record-setting pace of economic development from his first term.
At the inaugural parade, the focus will be on the past and future — symbolized by the choice of health care workers and educators as grand marshals. They will represent the health care professionals who treated Kentuckians during the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters that hit Kentucky during Beshear’s first term, and the teachers who are preparing the next generation of Kentuckians.
“We want to pay tribute to how Kentuckians have come together and gotten through so many hard times over the past four years,” first lady Britainy Beshear said at Thursday’s news conference. “And how together, we have moved forward to arrive where we are today as we build a bright future.
“Kentuckians have met every challenge with love, compassion and empathy for one another. And that is exactly how we must approach the next four years,” she added.