Kaine's inaugural will reflect the incoming governor, Siegel says: "He's a guy who's hands-on, who approves everything of significance that happens. The inaugural will very much reflect Tim, his personality, the way he views his role and his vision for Virginia. He wants to be sure that every part of our community and state takes a role."
Most events are open to the public, with tickets priced from $25 to $100 for receptions and balls; other events are free, including the traditional open house at the Executive Mansion Jan. 15. (See www.kaineinaugural.com for details.)
The inaugural address is in the works, and "we're all pretty pleased with the progress of that," says inaugural press director Jeff Kraus, invoking the reminder that John F. Kennedy finished his speech on the way to his presidential inauguration. Some invited political luminaries have sent regrets, including rising Democratic Party star Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Lieberman, both of whom campaigned for Kaine.
Of different wattage, but paid to be there, will be the Beach Boys. Kraus says they were chosen for Friday's inaugural in part because "the governor is a fan of their music, his favorite song of theirs is 'Wouldn't It Be Nice,' and the focus is having fun."
A harmonica is likely to make its way to the governor's lips during the inaugural concert Friday night. A bluegrass group from Galax called No Speed Limit played several of Kaine's campaign stops, and the candidate often joined in. "A lot of people don't know that he's musically talented," Kraus says, "and that he has been a soloist at his church and has played for a long time."
Having shed her black judge's robe, incoming first lady Anne Holton will be seen at the balls in jewelry symbolizing Native American women of Jamestown, including a piece designed by Lynalise Woodlief, who created jewelry for the movie "The New World." Holton will step into gold shoes by Vaneli and an open-collar, burnished-gold topaz dress by Tadashi Shoji made of stretch taffeta with a ruched waist.
Ball-goers will see decorations in blues and golds with a "Promise of Virginia" theme. Planners won't divulge too many details because they're hoping for "the wow factor" when some 8,000 guests arrive. They'll feed on cheeses and antipasti and will queue up at a cash bar. After an hour of orchestral music, dance bands will perform.
Bio Ritmo and Right On will play the Richmond ball, and the young Democrats will hear five straight hours of music from Fools & Horses, The Fuzz Band and The Constituents. No word on whether Kaine's teenage son, Nat, helped with the selections.
Siegel promises a good time: "From all the activities that lead up to the weekend, to the inauguration itself and the parade, it's always an uplifting occasion, and the balls are fun. People are in a high-spirited mood, and it's a good opportunity to celebrate what has become a four-year tradition in Virginia."
Which is good, Siegel notes, because a tuxedo can last for years. S
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