Vermont's Governor-elect Peter Shumlin and 1100 of his closest friends and admirers will celebrate his inauguration at Sugarbush, his inaugural committee announced Thursday.
If the $50 ticket price isn't in the budget, not to fret. Shumlin will be at two additional free functions — one on the Statehouse lawn after he's officially sworn in and another in Brattleboro on the eve of his inauguration.
Shumlin is the first governor elected from southern Vermont since Gov. Tom Salmon, a Democrat, was elected in 1972. Salmon hails from Rockingham and Shumlin from nearby Putney.
The $50 tix for the 'Bush bash will go on sale beginning Tuesday through FlynnTix and will offer some inaugural-only ski and stay packages. The headlining musical guest at the Sugarbush event hasn't been booked, but it's rumored event organizers are trying to land Phish or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
The event's inaugural committee is being chaired by Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power. Contributions valued at more than $100 from businesses and individuals will be posted publicly online. All proceeds will benefit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation.
“I am happy to chair this unique inauguration that will highlight the value-added products, innovative people and unique places that ensure a strong economic future for Vermont. The governor-elect wants this inauguration to celebrate our state and the great potential we have at the dawning of a new decade,” said Powell. “Vermonters are facing the toughest economy in decades and this event will contribute to our economy by focusing on local products, artists and venues. At the same time, the generosity of Vermonters and our businesses will help support our National Guard members and their families.”
In 2009, then-Sen. Peter Shumlin raised more than $200,000 to bring deployed National Guard men and women back to Vermont to celebrate the holidays.
Proceeds from Gov. Jim Douglas' last inaugural ball, held in early 2009, benefitted the Vermont Foodbank. The event raised more than $42,000 in cash and 800 pounds of food. Douglas' first inaugural ball — held at Norwich University's Plumley Armory — raised more than $32,000 for substance abuse programs funded through the United Way. Guests also brought more than a half-ton of canned food items that were donated to the Vermont Foodbank.
The music that night? The Vermont Jazz Ensemble.
For more information about Shumlin's inaugural ball, the official inaugural website is www.celebratevt.com.