Fancy Farm

6:48 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

A Fancy Farm First-Timer: Notes from a Morning Edition Host

Fancy Farm, years ago
Credit Library of Congress

Fancy Farm Picnic. Let's just start with the name. 

The first time I heard it, with no event description, my mind drifted towards whimsy and fluff: Martha Stewart convention? Petting zoo? Dressage? Antebellum actors? 

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7:02 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Matt Bevin Trade Barbs at Fancy Farm

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

FANCY FARM, Ky. — Here's how the 2014 Senate race would look if the candidates were defined solely on how their opponents described them at the 133rd annual St. Jerome Fancy Farm political picnic:

Alison Lundergan Grimes? In the pocket of President Obama.

Mitch McConnell? An obstructionist who manages to also be too compromising.

Matt Bevin? He doesn't even exist.

Under an uncharacteristically cloudy sky and fits of drizzling rain, thousands flocked to the political picnic in search of political theater and pulled-pork sandwiches amid a backdrop dominated by one of the most anticipated races in the nation.

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11:52 am
Sat August 3, 2013

How to Watch Kentucky Senate Candidates' Speeches at Fancy Farm

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

The race for Kentucky's Senate seat is getting about as much attention as a statewide race can get 457 days before Election Day.

That puts focus on today's Fancy Farm picnic. The incumbent, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, will speak. So will Democratic challengers, most prominently Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. And so will Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin, a Louisville businessman.

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12:51 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Fancy Farm Update: Matt Bevin In, Steve Beshear Out

Fancy Farm press
Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL News

Fresh from his campaign launch, Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin will speak at this year's annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Bevin faces Senator Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary. McConnell will also speak at Fancy Farm, as will Democratic candidate and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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6:44 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes to Headline Fancy Farm 2013

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

The campaigns of Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have confirmed both will be attending the 2013 Fancy Farm picnic, Kentucky's premier political event.

The picnic will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since Grimes announced her intentions to run against McConnell in next year's election.

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2:05 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Abramson Joins Fancy Farm Haters

Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is taking a hit for calling the annual Fancy Farm picnic outdated, but he isn't the first elected official to share his distaste for the raucous event.

As Frankfort Bureau Chief Kenny Colston reported, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer scolded Abramson for his comments and skipping the event. He also scored some political points by highlighting that the lieutenant governor is the former mayor of Louisville.

On his Facebook page, Comer wrote: "The border of (Kentucky) extends far beyond the city limits of Louisville, something the Lt. Gov. will hopefully realize before the end of his term!"

But two years ago, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who is from Bowling Green, criticized Fancy Farm when he told Fox New's Sean Hannity that he worried the onlookers would shower him with beer. And his northern Kentucky predecessor—former Sen. Jim Bunning—threatened to boycott Fancy Farm after complaining about how elected leaders were treated.


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2:41 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Comer Upset Over Abramson's Dismissal of Fancy Farm Picnic

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.

In remarks reported by CN2, Abramson dismissed the picnic, saying it's too rowdy. But Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who emceed this year's event, says when statewide officials skip the picnic, as Abramson did this year, it hurts the church and community that put the event on.

"Fancy Farm just isn’t about politics, it’s a church charity event and it’s a huge economic draw for people in Western Kentucky,” Comer says.

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5:45 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Fancy Farm Speeches Focus on Missing Democrats

The absence of many Democrats gave Republicans plenty of fodder at this year's Fancy Farm Picnic.

Republicans from U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell down to local legislative candidates took shots at state Democrats and President Barack Obama throughout the event.

“And so I think we ought to take a quick attendance check here as we get started. Governor Beshear are you here," McConnell said, with Republicans in the audience responding with a loud “No.”

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7:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Fancy Farm Preview From Kenny Colston

The annual Fancy Farm Picnic in western Kentucky threatens to be a tad dull this year for regular attendees accustomed to fiery political rhetoric and mud-slinging.  The reason:  a curious absence of many prominent politicians.  Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats announced plans to skip this year's picnic, and there will be few prominent Republicans present.

12:32 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

AARP Will Launch Bus Tour at Fancy Farm

The nation’s leading organization for seniors will use this year's Fancy Farm picnic to launch a nationwide tour to help voters be better informed about Social Security and Medicare.

The goal of the “You’ve Earned a Say” bus tour is to clear up what the AARP calls hype and spin around proposed changes to the nation’s biggest entitlement programs. 

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