Haley inaugural includes family night, pricey gala

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Inaugural events for next week are moving forward. A family night at the State Fairgrounds and an open house at the Governor's Mansion are some of the activities planned.

Nikki Haley's inaugural events appear likely to be a little more formal overall than those that kicked off the two terms of Governor Mark Sanford. There are no barbecues this time around. In fact, a $250-a-ticket gala at the Colonial Life Arena will  wrap things up on Wednesday.

But before that, you'll hear a lot of talk about families.

Swearing in a governor guarantees plenty of pomp, circumstance and spectacle, and almost always promises that government will focus on the future for the state's children.

Sometimes, inaugural events reflect the personality of the newly-sworn leader. Governor Mark Sanford, who often took a dressed-down approach to the office, began his second term with a barbecue at the state farmers market.

Sanford's successor says the first day of her inaugural will focus on the family. "This is a new page for South Carolina, and we have a lot of families that want to get involved in that," said Haley. "One of the traditional staples of the Haley family is Haley family fun night. And so what you're seeing on Tuesday night is a family fun night that allows anybody from anywhere to come and participate and celebrate the fact that South Carolina is having a new day and be excited about it."

Haley takes her oath of office on the south steps of the State House on Wednesday. The events that follow appear more traditional in nature, but in what will be an extremely tight budget year, Haley says taxpayers will not be expected to pick up much of the tab.

"What I cared about was to make sure as many people that wanted to participate could," said Haley. "And then what I also cared about is that this is private funds. That we made sure these were not taxpayer dollars at work. And so of course as we always do, we're going to try to be as conservative as possible. But I did not want that to be an issue so private funds is the way that we've raise money to do all these events."

The 95th South Carolina Inaugural schedule of events is as follows:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM: "Family Fun Night"
State Fairgrounds
Ticket Holders – $20 per adult, children under 18 free

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

9:00 AM: Prayer Service
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Open to the public

11:00 AM: Inaugural Ceremony
Statehouse Steps – South side
Open to the public

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: First Family Open House
Governor's Mansion
Open to the public

7:30 PM – 11:00 PM: Inaugural Gala
Colonial Life Arena
Ticket Holders  – $250 per couple

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. WMBF contributed to this report.