Mayor Gray declares 'Big Blue Wildcat Weekend'; Beshear proclaims Friday 'Blue and Red Day'

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comMarch 27, 2014 

Audrey Freeman, left, Brianna D'Alessantri, and Katie Cunha, get set as UK fans got set for the national championship between Kansas and Kentucky on Monday April 2, 2012 in New Orleans , LA. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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One declaration is pretty clear. The other embraces two cultures.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Gov. Steve Beshear issued proclamations Thursday to honor the Kentucky teams playing in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, including the men's team's bitter in-state rivalry with the University of Louisville.

Gray encouraged people to wear Blue on Friday and through the weekend for "Big Blue Wildcat Weekend," a declaration he made to honor the UK teams. Both teams have advanced to the "Sweet 16."

"The Wildcats have once again proven they are among the best in the country," Gray said. "They have the support of a Big Blue Nation that will undoubtedly be cheering all weekend long."

Gray encouraged fans to be respectful of their neighbors and to be safe.

Separately, Beshear proclaimed Friday as "Blue and Red Day" in honor of the UK-U of L matchup.

"March Madness is truly living up to its name here in the Bluegrass State," Beshear said Thursday in a news release

"This Friday, intrastate rivals UK and U of L are matching up to play one of the most anticipated games of the NCAA tournament so far. In Kentucky, this means there will be heated divide between fans of both teams — one that can pit neighbors, friends and even families against each other.

"To honor the teams' talents and fans' passion, I'm proclaiming Friday as 'Blue and Red Day' in the Commonwealth. Best of luck to the Cats and the Cards on a great game!"

The UK men's team will play in-state rival Louisville at 9:45 p.m. Friday night. The UK women will play Baylor at noon Saturday.

Beth Musgrave: (859)231-3205. Twitter: @HLCityhall.

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