Fancy Farm History

By Stuart Peck | 

The 126th annual Fancy Farm Picnic was held this weekend. The picnic is the official kickoff of the political season.

It's a Kentucky tradition that has survived two world wars, the fall of communism, and 9/11. Since 1880 Kentuckians have been meeting in the small Western Kentucky town of Fancy Farm to debate political views and eat BBQ.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo says the Fancy Farm tradition goes back to the days when politicians spoke from atop a stump.

"Fancy Farm is a tradition. It's true that stump speaking. The old form of stump speaking which was really prevalent here before they had TV and radio, they use to speak from the old stump out front."

But with the invention of television and radio and the lack of need for stump speaking, is the tradition dying? This year's picnic proved to be different than past with the absence of high ranking politicians like the governor and Kentucky's U.S. semators.

Bill Cunningham, who is running for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court, says the tradition of the Fancy Farm Picnic is strong and will not die.

"It’s an institution. It’s been around long enough; it’s tradition. As long as there are politicians, there'll be a Fancy Farm."