Inaugural events begin in Richmond, as Republicans prepare to take office Saturday

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 9:52 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - 24 hours before the inauguration of Virginia’s 74th Governor, the steps of the State Capitol and the massive bleachers nearby were empty, but the area will be filled to overflowing when Glenn Youngkin takes the oath of office Saturday afternoon.

The ceremony will bring several thousand people to Capitol Square to witness the transfer of power that occurs in Virginia every four years.

200 members of the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force will be there, fulfilling more than one mission as they honor their new Commander-In-Chief.

Cotton Puryear is Chief of Public Affairs for the Virginia National Guard.

“So it’s great to be out here to play music, fire the gun salute, fly a jet over and lead the inaugural parade,” Puryear told WDBJ7. “We’re very excited.”

As final preparations continued in Capitol Square Friday, 16 members of the Nansemond River Garden Club were inside a General Assembly meeting room preparing 16 large flower arrangements that will decorate the halls of the Capitol.

“When we see our arrangements, we will be proud of our club, but we’ll be proud of Virginia,” said garden club member Sandy Hart.

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin spent part of inauguration eve on a service project, helping to spread mulch and spruce up the site of the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue, just a few blocks from his new home.

“Yes, the toughest part of our nation’s history,” Youngkin told reporters, “but it also helps us understand where we can go and how much progress we have made.”

The first Republican to take the oath of office as Virginia Governor in 12 years, Youngkin told reporters he’s ready to get to work, as soon as he is sworn in.

“The first business day for me is tomorrow,” Youngkin said. “So we’re going to go to work tomorrow, and you’re going to see a lot of movement get started tomorrow. I’m excited about the inauguration. I’m excited about bringing everyone together. I’m excited about not just celebrating the moment, but celebrating the future that we can have together. And it all starts tomorrow on Day One.”

Youngkin and his wife Suzanne attended a reception for supporters Friday evening.

Saturday’s ceremony will also include the swearing-in of Youngkin’s running mates, Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares.

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