Northam inauguration set for Saturday

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A Virginia tradition that plays out every four years is now less than 24 hours away.

The transition from Governor Terry McAuliffe to Governor-elect Ralph Northam will take place Saturday at noon in Capitol Square.

4000 people are expected on the south side of the State Capitol for the inauguration of Virginia’s 73rd Governor. And western Virginia will be well-represented.

Governor-elect Ralph Northam says he’s ready.

"We’re very excited to get to work," Northam told WDBJ7 as he and his wife Pam Northam walked through the State Capitol building Friday morning. "Big day tomorrow and then we’ll get to work on Monday."

And while sheets of plastic protected the seats from a steady rain, the forecast promised a dry ceremony on Satuirday. And all but the final preparations were in place.

"We are so ready," said inauguration spokesperson Christina Freundlich.

The theme of the inauguration is "The Way Ahead," with a focus on finding common ground and bipartisan solutions to the state’s challenges.

"Folks are going to be represented from all across Virginia," Freundlich told us. "I know we have some great participants from the southwest region."

Recently we visited Radford's Glencoe Museum to meet three musicians who are taking part, but the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail is sending "an army of fiddlers" to march in the parade, and entertain at the Inaugural Gala.

Jack Hinshelwood is the Executive Director of The Crooked Road.

"30 fiddlers walking along is unusual, so it will certainly get attention,"Hinshelwood said. "And I think in a good way again, because these are some really talented musicians and great fiddlers."

Fiddlers Scott Nelson and Chris Via agreed.

"I just thought that was unique, a pretty good representation of us over here in this part of the state," Via said.
"I'm actually a fan of Ralph Northam," Nelson told us. "I think he's a mighty fine public servant, and I was happy and go do it and represent the Crooked Road."

And western Virginia will have other representatives including 1500 members of the VMI Corps of Cadets who will march in the parade as they have in the past.

But this year will be special, because Northam is the second Virginia Governor who attended the Lexington school.