PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Every new governor likes to put their own little touches on their inaugural festivities, and Pennsylvania’s Governor-elect Tom Corbett is no different.
Pennsylvania’s new governor will be sworn in with a little less action outside the state Capitol building, but with a pricier inaugural ball at a time when some governors are scaling back.
But the bottom line, Corbett’s Inaugural planners keep saying, is that no tax dollars will subsidize these events.
Flashback eight years to Gov. Ed Rendell’s first inaugural as governor, and you can see the pomp that covered the every-four-year ritual in Harrisburg.
This year, the location remains the same. The East Wing of the Capitol is where Tom Corbett will take the oath of office on Jan. 18.
But one big change is no parades.
“We decided given the climate, the economy, it was something that we could scale back on,” Corbett Inaugural spokeswoman Kirsten Page told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano in a telephone interview. “It was something that was not necessary, so we decided to not do it.”
Instead, Corbett’s inaugural will begin the day before with a family festival featuring children’s entertainers from across the state, followed by a morning mass and the inaugural event itself with military bands and choirs.
“So it is going to be something that is very dignified, very meaningful to the Corbetts and I believe to everyone who comes here to witness this happening,” says Page.
But Corbett will have a $150 black-tie-optional inaugural ball, in contrast to governors in other states who have dropped or scaled back the event.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo nixed the ball, instead cutting a ribbon and inviting average New Yorkers to greet him inside the governor’s mansion.
California Gov. Jerry Brown opted for an open hot dog and California produce event instead of a ball.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had a $50 ball, while Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton encouraged jeans, not black tie, at his $30 event.
Page defends the more expensive Corbett ball.
“This is an evening for people who have worked hard and just want to celebrate the new beginning of the Corbett administration,” she said.
That, of course, is true.
Lots of people worked hard to elect Corbett, and the ball is their chance to celebrate.
Of course, both the inaugural and the ball are open to everyone. You do not need an invitation, but you do need a ticket, free for the inauguration and $150 for the ball.
You can sign up for tickets at the Corbett inaugural website.