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The event was originally entitled Fancyville and was meant to be Louisville Democrats’ response to this year’s Fancy Farm political picnic. Organizers shifted the gathering’s focus, and its name, from politics to vaccinations in response to growing COVID-19 numbers. 

Jefferson County is currently in the critical spread level for COVID-19. The state is reporting a positivity rate more than 10%.

“I wasn’t real thrilled about having counter-programing anyways,” U.S. Representative John Yarmuth said of the initial plans for a political event. “We’re not in an election year, so that would probably have been a waste of time.”

Volunteers handed out water and popcorn at the local 761 IUE-CWA union hall on Poplar Level road Saturday. Inside, there was a big focus on people getting vaccinated not only for themselves, but to protect others as well.

“I just want people to think about the kids, if you’re 12 and under, you don’t have an option to get the vaccine,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

There has been an increase in the number of younger people getting severely ill from COVID-19 as the delta variant fuels a surge of cases. The virus is hitting unvaccinated populations hardest.

“We’re hearing more and more about the variants being in the community. Well the vaccines have also proven effective against those variants, so the more people we can get vaccinated the less chance that virus has to mutate,” Krista MacArthur, Director for Prevention and Wellness, Adult Services at Norton Healthcare said. 

Before FancyVaxx was announced, many Kentucky Democrats announced they would not be attending Fancy Farm. U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker was one of those politicians, but he did attend FancyVaxx.

“I wanted to go this year,” Booker said of the annual picnic in western Kentucky. “I definitely wanted to get on the stage and have a good time with Rand Paul, but we’re battling this pandemic.”

Other Kentucky Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey and mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg attended. 

Fancy Farm offered vaccines via mobile vaccination unit at the event in Graves County. 

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.