Thousands of people are expected during two days of public events leading up to the inauguration of Republican Mike Pence as Indiana's 50th governor.
The activities include family events during the day Saturday, an inaugural ball that evening, and a prayer and music service Sunday ahead of Monday's inauguration. The events are all funded through private donations.
Pence will be sworn in outside the Statehouse during an 11 a.m. ceremony to succeed current Gov. Mitch Daniels as the state's chief executive. About 1,500 people have registered to attend the event, Pence said during a news conference Thursday.
Pence's victory over Democrat John Gregg in November assured the GOP of a 12-year hold on the governor's office. Daniels became the first Republican to hold the office in 16 years when he was first elected in 2004.
"Our state is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other in our lifetime," Pence said. "My message will be on Monday that it will take all of us working together in the state of Indiana to meet that moment. We'll talk about that vision and we'll talk about some ideas of how we do that."
Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann and Attorney General Greg Zoeller also will take the oath of office Monday. Both will speak during the inauguration ceremony. Ellspermann will become the second woman elected lieutenant governor, succeeding Becky Skillman.
Following in the footsteps of Daniels, Pence will use former U.S. President Benjamin Harrison's inaugural Bible as part of the ceremony.
"We just thought that would be a great way to include some history," said Pence's wife, Karen. "The opportunity to be sworn in on that Bible was special to him."
Ceremony coordinators will pass out hand warmers and hot drinks during the outdoor event to keep people warm. The event will be less than an hour in length.
"Most importantly ... the weather will be in the 30s and partly cloudy," Mike Pence said. "So we'll see you outside on the west front."
Most of the activities leading up to the inauguration are geared toward families. Family Fun Day at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway will have free food, face painting and a bounce house on Saturday. The inaugural ball that evening will be held at the JW Marriot in Indianapolis. On Sunday, Christian singer Kristyn Getty will perform at what organizers are calling a "praise and worship service" at the Indiana Convention Center.
Information and registration for the events is available on the website IndianaWorks.Net.
Bins and tables will be set up at the events to accept donations of money and non-perishable food for the Midwest Food Bank.
"At every single inaugural event we wanted there to be a charitable aspect," Karen Pence said.