Topeka — It will be a night of dining, music and celebration Sunday to start Gov. Bill Graves' second four-year term.
Nashville singing star Kathy Mattea and about 2,000 paying guests are expected to attend Gov. Bill Graves' second inaugural gala here Sunday night.
Tickets to the black-tie banquet, ball and musical concert are $75 per person or $100 for the better seats.
"Assuming the weather holds up, we're expecting a little under 2,000 people," said former Kansas Secretary of State Jack Brier, a Topeka businessman who is co-chairman of the Graves' inaugural committee. "We should be able to fit everybody into the Exhibition Hall of the Expocentre."
Official swearing-in ceremonies will be held outdoors Monday on the south steps of the Statehouse and are free to the public. But the Sunday ball is an invitation-only event with festivities starting at 6:30 p.m. The party is expected to wind down by midnight.
"People have to work the next day," Brier said.
Entertainment will be provided by Mattea, a country singer who is a "personal favorite of the governor and Linda," the governor's wife, said Gov. Graves' spokesman Mike Matson.
Among other numbers, Mattea will perform her hit song "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses."
"Because of his trucking background, the governor loves that song," Matson said.
Graves' family once owned a Salina-based trucking firm.
The Fabulous Motown Review also will perform, Brier said.
The inaugural ball will kick off with the "traditional grand march of all newly elected officials," Brier said.
The banquet menu includes beef filet or Chicken Florentine with cherries jubilee for dessert.
Brier said it was too early to know the total cost of staging the various inaugural events. Besides sale of ball tickets, various fund-raising receptions will be held to help defray inaugural costs.
"We will raise enough to pay for it," Brier said. "There will be no cost to taxpayers."
Margie Canfield, of Topeka, a longtime GOP activist, is co-chairman with Brier of the Committee for the Inaugural of 1999 Inc., the nonprofit corporation orchestrating the fanfare and ceremony surrounding the launch of Graves' second term as governor.
"It's been a massive undertaking," Brier said, "with huge cooperation from the Highway Patrol and National Guard and hundreds of volunteers."
-- Mike Shields' phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.