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Record-breaking Crowd Expected To Fill Capitol Grounds During Abbott – Patrick Inauguration

Ryan E. Poppe

Tens of Thousands will descend upon the state capitol grounds today to witness something they haven’t seen in the last 14-years – the swearing in of a NEW Governor and Lt. Governor.  

Crews have been setting up for what could be one of the largest attended inaugurations for a Governor and Lt Governor the state has ever seen. Workers are banging out the final touches on a set of extra bleachers for public who may have not RSVP’d but are welcome to watch the swearing-in of governor-elect Greg Abbott and Lt Gov-elect Dan Patrick.

Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Gov-elect Greg Abbott mic-test for 2015 inauguration

The inaugural stage is featuring a periscope podium this year. It can be raised or lowered to accommodate either someone like Patrick who will standing while taking the oath or someone like Abbott who will seated.

Another break from tradition this year will be Patrick being sworn in by his son Ryan, who is a state district judge, instead of a Texas Supreme Court justice.

Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Lt. Gov-elect Dan Patrick mic-test at 2015 Inauguration

One of the challenges of the day will be getting tons, literally tons of bar-b-que on the capitol grounds and feeding 17-thousand spectators.  John Whitman is with the Texas Inaugural Committee, the group that spent the last 50-days planning for the swearing in of a new Governor and Lt. Governor.

“We’re talking about 4-tons of brisket, a mile of sausage, let’s see what else, 2 ½ tons of potato salad, so quite a bit of food”, said Whitman.

After the luncheon comes the parade around downtown Austin, and later tonight the celebration continues at the Austin Convention Center with an inaugural ball featuring alternative-country music artists Lady Antebellum and Pat Green. Between the ball and swearing in, an estimated 30-thousand people are expected to attend the festivities in Austin.