From a pizza party to a “cocktail chic” reception at the Florida State University football stadium, inaugural events next week in the capital city will honor women, veterans and, mostly, Florida’s statewide elected officials.
Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and members of the next Cabinet — returning Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried and Attorney General-elect Ashley Moody — will be formally sworn into their jobs during a ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the steps of the Old Capitol.
But with the transitions underway since election recounts were put to bed in November, celebrations will start Monday when the DeSantis team holds a breakfast at the Goodwood Museum in Tallahassee.
Some events — funded by donations and sponsorships and through the state parties — will include DeSantis and members of the Cabinet. Others are just for individual Cabinet members.
“DeSantis has been very open to working with us,” said Ben Pollara, one of Fried’s inaugural committee chairs.
The Monday breakfast will, according to DeSantis’ inaugural committee, recognize Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Nuñez as the highest-ranking Hispanic woman elected in Florida history and “honor the many strong women who made the campaign possible and celebrate the important leadership role women will play in the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration.”
DeSantis will address a lunch crowd Monday at the University Center Club at Florida State University, which will be followed by an afternoon event honoring the military and law enforcement at the Tallahassee Automobile Museum.
Monday night, the Republican Party of Florida is putting on a party at downtown Tallahassee’s Deck Pizza Pub for Patronis, who won a four-year term in the Nov. 6 election after being appointed in 2017 by Gov. Rick Scott.
Meanwhile, Fried, the lone Democrat to win statewide, will hold an event at Doak Campbell Stadium for her “Growing a Stronger Florida” inaugural celebration. Participants in the night’s soiree are advised to dress “cocktail chic.”
“Democrats across the state have something to celebrate,” Pollara and Jenni Shaffren, Fried’s other inaugural committee chair, said in a joint release. “It is the first time in over 20 years that we have elected a Democratic commissioner of agriculture and we don’t want you to miss out on the festivities.”
Events Tuesday will begin with an 8 a.m. prayer breakfast at Florida A&M University, followed by the swearing-in ceremony outside the Old Capitol.
Fried, Moody and Patronis are expected to hold open houses in their first-floor Capitol offices.
Meanwhile, DeSantis will address House and Senate leaders and Cabinet officials during a luncheon in the Capitol’s fourth- floor rotunda.
Finally, Florida’s 46th Governor’s Inaugural Ball will be held Tuesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, with DeSantis’ inaugural committee saying it “will be an evening of celebration, dancing and fellowship enjoyed by Floridians united by the goal of bettering our state for generations to come.”