The power washer was spraying away another year's worth of grime this week as residents of Fancy Farm prepared for the annual picnic at St. Jerome's Parish, where Kentucky's politicos flock on the first Saturday of August each year.
Organizer Mark Wilson said he is excited about the lineup of speakers who have agreed to appear but was "surprised" to find out "through the media" that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul won't be attending this year.
"We really wanted him to be there, with him running for president especially," Wilson said.
Paul told reporters last week that he is skipping the annual event in far Western Kentucky in favor of campaigning in New Hampshire, a state he has deemed a must-win for his presidential bid.
It's the kind of decision that is causing serious hand-wringing among Republicans as they privately fret that Paul is focusing too much effort and resources on a stalled presidential bid at the expense of his U.S. Senate re-election campaign.
While Paul's aides have long defended the senator's decision to run for both offices in 2016 by boasting of his abilities as a multitasker, there is growing concern that Paul could be caught off-guard in his Senate race, much the way former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was last year.
Paul's recent moves leave little doubt that his re-election is a distant second on his list of priorities.
In addition to skipping Fancy Farm, Paul's presidential campaign team appears to have reversed course on plans to put its headquarters in Louisville. For well over a year, Paul aides said that after conversations with 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, they had decided to base Paul's campaign in Louisville, hoping to build a base of support on top of a wellspring of state pride.
But there is no Louisville campaign headquarters, and when asked about the apparent change in plans, Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in an email that they have a Washington office. The campaign will also have offices in Kentucky, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, he said.
There was no explanation given for the change of plans.
Kelsey Cooper, who worked as a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Kentucky last year, has been hired as a state-based spokeswoman for Paul, replacing Dan Bayens, who left Paul's office to help make ads for one of the two super PACs supporting his presidential run.
While Paul has boasted of opening campaign offices in places like Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley, he does not have any in Kentucky.
Cooper said Paul's team is "in the process of opening Louisville and Lexington offices very soon."
"Sen. Paul's number one priority is serving as Kentucky's senator, and his record demonstrates his unwavering commitment to defending and supporting the values and issues important to all Kentuckians," Cooper said in an email. "He was just in Louisville earlier this week holding constituent events, which he does frequently, has a nearly perfect attendance record in the Senate and is working with Sen. McConnell, our congressional delegation and state leaders to find new solutions for the commonwealth."
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a statement to the Herald-Leader, praised Paul as "a tireless advocate for the commonwealth on issues large and small since his earliest days in Washington."
"I'm proud of the grit and determination he's brought to Washington on behalf of our shared constituents back home," McConnell said.
Paul has made sporadic returns to the Bluegrass State since he began running for president in early April, and while he is skipping Fancy Farm, Paul will be in Kentucky later next month for the Kentucky GOP's central committee meeting. Party leaders are expected to decide then whether to grant Paul's request to hold a presidential preference caucus next March.
Despite McConnell's stamp of approval, the caucus is far from a done deal. There are serious lobbying efforts underway both for and against a caucus, and if one-third of the more than 300 members of the committee object, then the caucus proposal would be tabled.
With just more than a month to go until a decision is made, there continue to be real questions about how to pay for a caucus.
Paul's team has repeatedly dismissed cost concerns, offering to help foot the bill, but that's where Paul's other big problem comes into play — money.
The senator's first report to the Federal Election Commission as a presidential candidate was underwhelming at best, with his $7 million haul earning him a spot in the "losers" category in an analysis of the most recent fundraising period by The Washington Post.
Republicans worried about Paul's Senate seat are particularly concerned that Paul's $7 million total includes $1.4 million he transferred to his presidential campaign from his Senate re-election committee.
That leaves Paul's Senate campaign with $2.6 million to spend. At the same point in McConnell's most recent re-election campaign, he had nearly $10 million in cash to spend.
Steve Robertson, outgoing chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said he isn't "tuned in" to the hand-wringing about Paul's re-election bid, saying only that 2016 is "right around the corner, and we're gonna have to make sure we're ready."
There are certainly reasons for Paul to take his seat for granted.
McConnell's 16-point win last year over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes dramatically enhanced the conventional wisdom that Kentucky is decidedly red in federal elections, especially with President Barack Obama in the White House.
And at least so far, no Democrats have publicly expressed a desire to take on Paul next year, even though state Auditor Adam Edelen is routinely mentioned as the most likely candidate.
Adding to the absence of an opponent is the fact that the state Democratic Party is singularly focused on this year's governor's race, determined to protect the most important office still held by a Democrat. Whatever attacks are made against Paul in Kentucky are coming from national Democrats, not local ones.
Still, the worry is that Paul will return to Kentucky having been defeated on the presidential campaign trail, bruised by the national media and flat broke when he begins an earnest defense of his Senate seat.
Just this week, conservative commentator Erick Erickson wrote a column asking: "What the hell happened to Rand Paul?"
It may be that state Republicans have nothing to worry about, and Paul has all the time in the world to pursue a presidential nomination without sweating his re-election.
But it's a safe bet he won't be skipping Fancy Farm next year.