Local Politics

Prayers, party for Perdue mark eve of inauguration

Posted January 9, 2009 5:44 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— The eve of Beverly Perdue's swearing-in as North Carolina governor begins with introspection and ends with a party.

The governor-elect attended an inaugural prayer service Friday morning at the historically black First Baptist Church on Capitol Square in downtown Raleigh. The event was open to the public.

Organizers scheduled ministers from Christian and Jewish congregations to speak on topics such as leadership, courage and humility. A state employees' choir was on hand, too.

Later Friday, Perdue and her husband, Bob Eaves, will join thousands for the inaugural ball and other festivities in downtown Raleigh. Ball tickets were still available Thursday at $125 per person.

The inauguration for Perdue and nine other Council of State members is Saturday morning.

Inauguration festivities for Perdue began Thursday night with a reception honoring the new Council of State and a concert geared toward young voters.

Held at the Marriott City Center Ballroom, reception honored the new Council of State and Lt. Governor-elect Walter Dalton. The $125 per person fundraiser was sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh, which used this event and the Rock the Ball concert to raise money for charity.

The Rock the Ball concert, held Thursday night at the Lincoln Theater, celebrated the youth vote, which played a role in the recent election.

“We have a choice to be able to vote and with that choice we should definitely do it because we make a difference,” said Amanda Rossi, a young voter who attended the event.

Youth voting numbers increased in 2008, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

“It’s real important that young people understand how important it is to have this privilege – to be able to vote in this country,” Junior League President Virginia Yopp said.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker will deliver the oath of office to Perdue in a 10:30 a.m. Saturday ceremony on the steps of the Division of Archives and History building on East Jones Street.

The inaugural parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the corner of Fayetteville and Davie streets downtown.

The festivities conclude Saturday afternoon with an open house at the Governor's Mansion, where Perdue can greet some of her constituents.


For live inauguration coverage, log on to WRAL.com. Watch Beverly Perdue's swearing in beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and the inaugural parade starting at 12:30 p.m.