Florida's Capital City is getting ready to welcome the Charlie Crist administration with a first of its kind effort. Tallahassee and Leon County leaders say they will be doing all they can to ease the transition of new staff members who will soon call the Capital City home. There will be welcoming committees at the airport and people on hand to help them find housing. They're also trying to get the local community excited about inauguration day.
"It's really the Super Bowl of Florida politics."
That's how Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce chairman Randy Hanna describes inauguration day. It comes every four years, a chance for the Tallahassee to really show off.
Leon County Chairman Ed Depuy said, "We want to put our best foot forward and let them know why we're so proud of Tallahassee and Leon County and this is the premiere event."
Signs are going up all over town to highlight some of the area's best and up and coming including the universities, Cascades Park renovations and Gaines Street renovations.
Thousands of people will make their way to Tallahassee to experience and watch as Governor-elect Charlie Crist takes the oath of office. The Tallahassee Chamber says that translates into big money for the local economy.
Hanna said, "Millions and millions of dollars. We've actually tried to calculate it, but I can't give you an exact dollar amount, but it's huge."
The Chamber and local government leaders are also re-committing to work with the state government on economic issues referring to the success with the Bush administration locally, with Danfoss-Turbocor and Day Jet. Since government plays such a major role in the local economy, the City, County, the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Bureau are all asking locals to extend a welcoming hand and join in Inauguration day celebrations.
Tallahassee Mayor John Marks said, "I want all of our citizens to come out and enjoy these two days, January 1st and January 2nd, and all of the inaugural events."
And there just may be a few surprises in store.
Depuy said, "I can't tell you you just have to come to the parade and see. There will be people in the parade that will be a delight."
The parade is moving to Adams Street this year, starting at City Hall and ending at the Governor's Mansion.
Inauguration events kick off in Tallahassee January 2nd with the Prayer Breakfast at FAMU's Gaither Gymnasium at 7:30. The Swearing in Ceremony will follow at the Old Capitol at 10:30am, Crist to take the oath at noon. Then, the parade leaves from City Hall, ending at the Governor's Mansion where there will be tours and a street party.
You will need tickets for the Prayer Breakfast and the Swearing In Ceremony and they are free. To find out more, go to www.charliecrist.com.