FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) - Politicians attend the annual political
gathering at Fancy Farm for the exposure.
But, this year, some of the cameras will focus on the picnic,
not the politics.
The Food Network is planning to spend Aug. 4 at Fancy Farm to
prepare a 30 minute feature on the barbecue dinner served to as
many as 10,000 visitors - an event billed as the world's largest
single-day barbecue picnic.
Mark Wilson, organizer of the political speaking and a member of
the planning committee of 127th annual gathering, said national
exposure will be good for Kentucky.
"We're really excited about the national exposure," Wilson
The picnic, sponsored by the St. Jerome Catholic Church, raises
more than $200,000 for parish and community activities.
This year's slate of speakers includes U.S. Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell and possibly Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher
and his challenger, former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat,
trading barbs as the campaign season winds on toward the Nov. 6
The picnic has gained prominence as Kentucky's premiere
grassroots political event and serves as the unofficial kickoff for
fall campaigns. It is known for its bare-knuckle politics as
opposing candidates meet face to face and interact with partisans
in the audience.
Beshear, a former attorney general, has made his support of
legalizing limited casino gambling a key part of his campaign.
Beshear says the new gaming would generate at least $500 million in
new state tax revenues each year.
Fletcher came out staunchly against casino gambling last month,
warning it could produce a host of social ills. For most of his
term, Fletcher said he personally opposed casino gambling but would
leave the issue up to voters if a gambling referendum reached the
No matter the politics, food brings picnic goers together.
Church volunteers will fire up the barbecue pits on Friday
morning to begin cooking more than 18,000 pounds of pork, mutton
The menu includes homegrown corn, green beans, tomatoes and
cucumbers, all raised and donated by church members. The country
dinner is topped off with homemade pies and cakes. By the time the
last plate is served, more than 11 tons of food will be consumed.
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)