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Fancy Farm set for comeback; McConnell, Paul, Beshear not attending

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 04, 2021

At Fancy Farm, you can expect shouts, cheers, and a whole lot of BBQ and mutton.

The event has become a rite of passage for Kentucky candidates looking for your vote, and the event is unlike any other.

"You can always expect Fancy Farm to be fun, exciting, a little dramatic, but in the end, one of the best events in America for politics," said Bob Babbage, the emcee of the 141st Fancy Farm Picnic.

"I might have a joke or two for a couple of people I'll get to introduce. Very, very good one though," he added.

The jokes and jabs are part of what makes Fancy Farm unique. It shows Kentuckians a different side of candidates that normally they don't get to see, and it's a more engaging type of political environment.

"It's a little bit more boisterous than going to a nice candidate forum at your school auditorium and having a moderator who lets everyone say a few words and answer a few questions. That might get a little sharp, but not as sharp as Fancy Farm," said Babbage. "You come to Fancy Farm expecting a little partisanship in the message, a little humor, occasionally with a little bite or spice."

After COVID-19 forced the event to be scaled back last year, the hope was that Fancy Farm would be back in full force this weekend. However, the Senate's work on the infrastructure bill is keeping both Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul in Washington.

The governor and the lieutenant governor also chose to decline their invites. When asked why, Gov. Andy Beshear said he's spending time with his kids instead, and the COVID situation has him a little bit worried too.

"We don't have any elections this year either," said Beshear. "And finally, the event in and of itself is concerning in the midst of the delta variant."