Final preparations underway ahead of inauguration

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 7, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With hours to go until Florida's new governor is sworn in, crews are finishing up preparations for the inauguration.

A temporary floor has been placed on the lawn of the Historic Capitol. And a stage has been set for the swearing in ceremony. Risers are built for cameras and media and hundreds of chairs await attendees.

"They've been working on it for about two weeks," said Jim Smith, who works at the visitor's desk inside the Historic Capitol. "If you look at the building you'll see they replaced the awnings. We got new awnings up there. Last week they painted the front porch. And the back porch. And, they even got up and washed the windows on the outside."

Smith was watching the preparations on Monday. However, Tuesday he'll be watching the event from inside.

"I'm 82 years old. I love this kind of stuff! I'm looking forward to tomorrow, I really am," he said.

About 2,000 people are expected to come from outside of Tallahassee to watch the inauguration.

Among those are Claudia Miro and Ivette Pinto, who traveled from Miami to support Lt. Governor Elect Janette Nunez.

"It's very emotional. It's patriotic. And we're just happy to be a part of that," said Miro. "We're so excited because she's the first Hispanic woman who has held such a high rank here in the state of Florida."

"We're excited to see what she and the Governor Elect are going to do for our state," said Pinto.

According to Inaugural Press Secretary Katie Strickland, planning for the inauguration takes weeks, with days of setup at each venue for each event.

The ceremony is paid for through funds raised by the Inaugural Finance Committee and the Republican Party of Florida. Various sponsors contribute from all over the state, including the Florida Bankers Association, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Police Benevolent Association and many more.

And, as the buzz continues to grow around the event in Tallahassee, many are looking forward to watching the peaceful transition of power.

"I hope everyone watches on TV, if they're not here. We'll see the new governor. And we all wish him well," said Smith.

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