PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Preparations are getting finalized for Monday’s inaugural festivities of Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto.
“It’s a celebration about the city. It’s less about the new administration,” Peduto chief of staff Kevin Acklin told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Modeled after the inauguration of the late Bob O’Connor, Peduto will be sworn in outside the City-County Building on a specially constructed platform with perhaps 1,200 seats in front.
Instead of Pa. Chief Justice Stephen Zappala, who swore in O’Connor, it will be senior Superior Court Judge Justin Johnson doing the honors.
“We’re praying for sunshine,” noted Acklin. “I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I think there’s a 70 percent chance of snow.”
The bigger problem could be the cold — with temperatures ranging between minus 10 to 13 on Monday.
Following the swearing-in, the public can warm up inside One PPG’s Wintergarden where Peduto will greet well-wishers, while the hearty can ice skate for free outside.
The festivities then move to a ticketed event at the Heinz History Center, where 3,500 guests can view exhibits, including the special Civil War exhibit held over an extra day.
On every floor of the Heinz History Center, Peduto supporters will find food stations featuring classic Pittsburgh food like chipped ham, peirogies, and of course, Klondikes.
And there will also be entertainment on every level with Pittsburgh artists like Joe Negri, Etta Cox and Joe Grushecky.
Peduto has already selected a painting by local artist Burton Morris for display in his mayor’s office.
All these events add up to thousands of dollars.
“Who pays for all this?” Jon Delano asked Acklin.
Acklin says, as in past inaugurals, the corporate community has stepped up, adding “not a dollar will come from the taxpayers.”
And Peduto is asking guests to all events to make food or cash donations to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.