Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles will emcee the annual Fancy Farm Picnic this year. The fundraiser for Saint Jerome’s Catholic Church is one of the best known political events in the state.
Organizer Mark Wilson said Quarles is the first millennial to emcee the picnic.
"He was like a kid in a candy store, it was like he won a big prize, he was very excited when we made an inquiry to him and reached out to him,” Wilson said. “He was very excited about the opportunity, it was like a dream of a lifetime for him.”
Wilson suggested the relatively young emcee is a sign the picnic, in its 138th year, is “embracing the changing times.”
Quarles is a Republican and served three terms in the state House before becoming ag commissioner.
The president of the National Rifle Association Oliver North will be speaking at Murray State University the night before the Picnic.
Wilson said he is unsure if North will make an appearance at their event.
The Marshall County Republican Party invited North to speak at a GOP rally on August 3.
Wilson said these events are separate, but he’s open to the possibility of North coming to the picnic.
“I mean who knows, we’re always open to ideas and suggestions,” Wilson said. “You never know until the first Saturday of August who’s going to be on the roster.”
Wilson said there’s no official list of speakers yet, but said organizers have sent invitations to current office holders and candidates.
Father Darrell Venters of Saint Jerome Catholic Church said guns are not allowed on the property with the exception of law enforcement.
This year marks the 138th Fancy Farm Picnic.