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Kentucky Proud Take Lead at First Black-Tie Inaugural Ball
Kentucky Ag Connection - 01/19/2009

Guests at the Bluegrass Ball will be greeted with Kentucky Proud products when they arrive at the first of the black-tie inaugural galas Monday night in Washington, D.C. Each of the nearly 1,500 guests will receive a bag containing Kentucky Proud foods and other pieces of Kentucky culture.

"I am thrilled that these Kentucky Proud products will get the national attention they deserve," Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said. "The guests at the Bluegrass Ball will find out what we in Kentucky have known all along -- when it comes to Kentucky Proud, nothing else is close."

A Kentucky Proud producer took the reins to pull together the Kentucky Proud products for the bags. Officials from the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet contacted Kevin McKee of KD's Homemade BBQ Sauce in Lee County about donating a product for the ball. McKee traveled the state to talk to Kentucky Proud producers about donating products. McKee said nobody turned him away, and he ended up with products from 17 Kentucky Proud businesses.

"These bags will be flowing with good things from Kentucky," McKee said.

Honi Marleen Goldman of the Kentucky Society of Washington said she believes Kentucky is the only state that provides such a large amount of local food for an inaugural ball. She said Kentucky Proud foods also were featured prominently at the 2005 Bluegrass Ball.

Kentucky Proud businesses that donated products for the ball include: Age International Inc., Frankfort; Applecreek Farms, Lexington; Assmann's, Franklin; Bluegrass Bourbon Balls, Taylorsville; Edna Mae's Special Recipes, Versailles; Herb'n Renewal, Lancaster; KD's Homemade BBQ Sauce, Leeco; Kentucky Specialty Sauces, Lexington; Mama's Seasoned Products, Auburn; McDowell Farms Salsa, Germantown; Mrs. Rogers Popcorn, Lexington; Simply Kentucky Confectionery, Lexington; Southern Belle Dairy, Somerset; Southern Delight Gourmet Foods, Bowling Green; Sunflower Sundries, Mt. Olivet; Weisenberger Mill, Midway; and WindStone Farms, Paris.

Dignitaries expected to attend the ball at the Marriott Wardman Park include former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and members of Kentucky's congressional delegation.

Guest Chef Michael Paley of Proof on Main in Louisville will prepare the meal. Steve Buttleman, the official bugler at Churchill Downs, will call guests to dinner, and the Lexington band Joey and the Cruisers will provide the entertainment. The Bluegrass Ball is presented by the Kentucky Society of Washington.

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