HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (5/2/14) — A group of Pride Elementary School students painted a Derby-themed canvas that will adorn a picnic table on Saturday, May 3, as part of the annual Governor’s Derby Celebration.

The blankets, distributed to schools by the Kentucky Arts Council in early April, have become a celebrated tradition since the project started five years ago, with hundreds of students participating each year. Ranging from fun and whimsical to intricate and detailed, the finished "Derby blankets" are placed atop picnic tables that have been converted into "horses" with an attached head and tail.

"The Derby blanket project is not only a great way to incorporate arts education into the classroom, but also a fun way for students to participate in Derby festivities," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The children are always very proud of the finished canvases on display at the Governor's celebration."

The Pride students who took part are involved in the school’s after-school club, Courtyard of Curiosity. They are among students from 54 Kentucky classrooms who participated.


Fifth-grader Rebekah Calhoun created the sketch that was selected for Pride’s design. Other participants were Kaitlyn Adams, Evan Carlton, Amaris Defatte, Gracie Enoch, Alexis Fuson, Madison Gipson, Sasha Hall, Abby Hibbs, Tytiana Johnson, Abbey Martin, Madyson Martin, Kierra Mitchell, Jaiden Pierpont, Emma Peyton, Keyshanti Stafford, Jasmine Stricker, Sydney Scott, Gabriel Vancleve, Jack Wagner and Kendall Warren.

The Governor's Derby Celebration is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 3 in downtown Frankfort.

The Derby blankets, coordinated by the arts council on behalf of Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear, will be on picnic tables on the Old State Capitol lawn.

View photos of the Derby blankets on the Kentucky Arts Council's Facebook page.

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