McAuliffe's inauguration events kick off Saturday - - Richmond, VA News

McAuliffe's inauguration events kick off Saturday

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There are just nine days until the next governor of Virginia is sworn into office, but there are events happening all across the state this weekend to kick off the festivities.

Help clean the James River or serve food for those in need as Governor-elect Terry McAullife's transition team prepares for the first event in the inauguration celebration, a day of service.

"It's the first time we've ever had this many volunteers on site at one time," said Katie Gholson with FeedMore.

More than 150 people are on board to volunteer Saturday.

"We have a lot of food around and all of the donated items that we receive need to be sorted through," she said.

It's one of more than 80 service projects statewide. Crews are putting the final touches at Capitol Square with bleachers and a seal of Virginia to accommodate the 5,000 people expected to watch as McAuliffe is sworn in to office at noon on January 11.

"This is not something we've never done before. We do this every four years, so it's not something that will catch us by surprise," said Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones who is helping organize the events.

Jones says local law enforcement will coordinate with Capitol Police for security. Even the Secret Service will be on hand as dignitaries make their way to Richmond.

All of the city's public parking garages will be open and free to use.

Following the swearing in, there will be a public open-house at the Governor's Mansion.

"It's very important to them that they open the house and showcase openness and inclusivity to the Commonwealth of Virginia," Jones said.

Then, on the night of the inauguration, the Siegel Center will transform into a banquet hall. It's one of three banquet sites across the Commonwealth to celebrate.

There are plenty of events, with the first in just a matter of days.

"We are very ready. I've been making lots of labels today and making sure the flow is going to go good," Gholson said.

Mayor Jones says for the first time this year, representatives from Virginia's gay and trans-gender community will march in the parade to show inclusion. There will also be a prayer breakfast with faith leaders across the state to kick off the big event.

Some of the events are already sold out, but there is a waiting list. For more information on how to sign up and a look at the entire schedule, click here.

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