Week of Inauguration Events Kicks Off

Week of Inauguration Events Kicks Off

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John Hollenhorst reportingAbout 14 hours from now, Utah will have its first newly elected Governor in 12 years. Sunday night, governor-elect Jon Huntsman Junior warmed up for the inauguration with a colorful multi-cultural musical program.

The location at Abravanel Hall is one of the things that makes the inauguration a special one. It's the first in nearly a century that will not take place at the state capitol.

Sunday night, a multi-faith musical service at the First Presbyterian Church gave us a preview of the themes Jon Huntsman will emphasize as he takes the reins of the state tomorrow.

It was an eclectic mix of musical styles and national origins, a smorgasbord of religious faiths. They gathered to wish the new Governor well, and to offer their hopes for his time in office.

Rabbi Joshua M. Aaronson, Temple Har Shalom: "The great diversity of our citizenry has placed a portion of their faith in you. And with their faith, governor, we know you will lead us in working together for the common good."

A common theme was people working together to bring out the best, and to help the least fortunate.

Pamela Atkinson, Community Advocate: "Imagine businesses clamoring to come to Utah because our new governor has created an environment and milieu of caring and prevention where all people look past their differences to work together in unity on an everyday basis. And not just when tragedy strikes or at Christmas time."

The Governor-elect said he wanted the multi-faith music service to signal a commitment to solve problems by bringing people together.

Jon Huntsman, Jr, Governor-elect: "And I’m going to do it by reaching out and touching the human heart in the process."

The inauguration will break tradition. It can't be held in the state capitol, which is under wraps for renovation.

Instead, Abravanel Hall, will have the honors.

In his inaugural speech Huntsman will emphasize another theme: the need to innovate and even take risks on issues like education, infrastructure and taxes.

Jon Huntsman, Jr, Governor-elect: "We're going to take some risks as we move forward. Otherwise we're going to be left behind by some very competitive neighbors."

There are a few standby tickets left for tomorrow’s inauguration. If you want them, be here on the plaza outside Abravanel Hall at 9am.

The ceremony begins at noon, and just after 12:30, Huntsman will make his first speech as governor.

Just a reminder, KSL 5 will carry inauguration ceremonies of the Governor elect live on Eyewitness News at Noon.

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