The Journal Gazette
Monday, January 11, 2021 1:00 am

Inauguration to have new feel for Holcomb

Friends, family will be on hand instead of thousands in crowd

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb's second inauguration today will be a sign of COVID-19 times – with just a few dozen friends and family gathered for the event instead of a pomp-filled affair.

Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and incoming Attorney General Todd Rokita will take their oaths in a private ceremony at the Indiana State Museum.

The event will open with a prayer and two Hanover College students will sing the national anthem and “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Holcomb's nieces and nephews will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

After the swearing-in, the elected officials will give remarks and the ceremony will end with a prayer.

Due to coronavirus precautions, the event is closed to the public, but will be livestreamed at

In comparison, here is what most recent gubernatorial inaugurations have looked like:

• In 1997, Gov. Frank O'Bannon took his oath outside the Statehouse before 3,000 people. The temperature dipped to minus 10 degrees earlier that morning. When the ceremony began, though, the temperature had risen to 6 degrees.

O'Bannon made up for it four years later in 2001 when he was sworn in before 25,000 fourth graders in the then-RCA Dome. There were also fireworks and Christian singer Sandi Patty sang.

• Gov. Mitch Daniels was inaugurated before 8,000 Hoosiers in 2005 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with a community band on hand. Chicken tenders, fries and pretzels were sold at the concession stand.

Four years later in 2009, Daniels moved his inauguration to the Statehouse atrium and took the oath before 1,000 people with a backdrop of a massive Indiana flag.

• Gov. Mike Pence in 2013 hosted 2,000 people outside the Statehouse. Hand warmers were passed out to keep the 19-degree temperature at bay.

• Holcomb was sworn in 2017 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds before 2,000 people.

Former governors have regularly attended inaugurations but will not be doing so this year.

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