State Politics

Snow threat moves inaugural events inside, cancels parade

Anticipated snowfall on Saturday has canceled Gov. Roy Cooper’s inaugural parade and moved related events indoors, organizers announced Wednesday.

A pre-ceremony concert and the swearing-in ceremony will take place in Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The parade will be rescheduled.

Predictions as of Wednesday evening call for snowfall on Friday night and into Saturday totaling 1 to 4 inches, with temperatures close to freezing.

Outdoor events had been scheduled for the State Archives Building.

Event organizers had the contingency plan in place earlier this week. When asked at a news conference Tuesday about the weather interfering with his inauguration, Cooper half-joked.

“I certainly hope I’m not conducting the inauguration from Emergency Management,” Cooper said.

Construction had been underway on staging for the parade route on South Wilmington Street, and for the events outside the State Archives Building at 109 E. Jones St.

The events now in Memorial Auditorium include musical and literary elements.

Bland Simpson, one of North Carolina’s leading musical and literary native sons, will deliver a special reading.

Simpson, a member of the venerable Red Clay Ramblers, author and literature professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, says he has crafted a short piece for the occasion from an essay of his inspired by Thomas Harriot’s 1588 “A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.”

One of the new governor’s three daughters, Claire, will also perform a musical piece.

Saturday’s schedule

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — Pre-ceremony concert in Memorial Auditorium lobby

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Transfer of the Great Seal in the Memorial Auditorium art gallery

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Inaugural swearing-in ceremony, Memorial Auditorium

Sunday’s schedule

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Executive Mansion open house, 200 N. Blount St., Raleigh

Inaugural ceremony

Welcome and invocation — Rev. Christopher Edmonston

Posting of colors — Joint Color Guard, N.C. National Guard

Pledge of Allegiance — Sophia Flynn

National Anthem — Tina Morris Anderson

Special reading — Bland Simpson

Administration of oaths of office to Council of State

Musical presentation — Claire Cooper

Administration of oath of office to the governor

Military honors

Inaugural address — Roy Cooper

Musical presentation — 440th Army Band, N.C. National Guard

Benediction — Rev. Clifford A. Jones Sr.

Inaugural ball events

Sponsored by the Junior League of Raleigh, three events over three days are planned. Tickets are being sold online.

▪ 7 p.m. to midnight Thursday — Rock the Ball concert at the Lincoln Theatre

▪ 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday — Council of State reception at Marbles Kids Museum

▪ 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday — Inaugural Ball at Reynolds Coliseum and Talley Student Union at N.C. State University

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer