- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will lead a parade of about 300 veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars on Tuesday to help celebrate his inauguration.

Bevin’s inauguration committee detailed the parade and other events on Thursday. Bevin and Lt. Gov.-elect Jenean Hampton were both in the military and have decided to dedicate their inaugural festivities to veterans. Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a Kentucky native and Medal of Honor recipient, will be the parade’s grand marshal.

“(Bevin) just wants to be able to honor them, and make them all feel as if they were all welcome to Frankfort,” Inauguration Committee chairwoman Kelly Knight said. “We are trying to be all inclusive and this is our way to say thank you.”

Tuesday’s inauguration events will rely heavily on tradition, with a public worship service, a 19-gun salute and ruffles and flourishes during the public swearing-in ceremony. But Bevin is breaking with tradition by not holding an inaugural ball. Instead he plans to host an invitation-only “Boots & Bells Celebration” at the Frankfort Convention Center for about 2,000 of his supporters and donors.

“We thought it would be less formal. Matt is not a black tie type of guy,” Knight said.

Three members of the band “Exile” - founded in Richmond and known for their 1978 hit “Kiss You All Over” - will perform at the concert. But organizers would not say who would headline the show because a contract with the performer banned them from revealing it.

Kentucky native and gospel recording artist Larnelle Harris and Heather Payne from the contemporary Christian music group Point of Grace will perform at the church service Tuesday morning at the Frankfort Convention Center that begins at 8:15 a.m. Country singer Lee Greenwood of “God Bless the USA” fame and classical tenor Gregory Turay, a University of Kentucky graduate, are scheduled to perform during the public swearing-in ceremony scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

And 14-time Grammy winner and Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs will headline a number of bluegrass performers during the Frankfort Welcome Party at the Kentucky History Center scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The parade will begin on Broadway Street in downtown Frankfort at 10 a.m. and finish at the state Capitol. The parade has 67 entries, including 14 high school bands from across the state that placed in state competitions. The parade will also honor police officers and other first responders who have died in the line of duty this year.

Knight said she expects as many as 4,000 people to attend the events throughout the day. All of the events are free and open to the public, except for the Boots & Bells Celebration.

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