Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick Opt for Daylong Inaugural Party on Texas Capitol Grounds

AUSTIN -- Amid bands, barbeque and an appearance by University of Texas mascot Bevo XV, supporters of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will frolic on the Texas Capitol grounds for several hours Tuesday, celebrate the two GOP leaders' second inaugurations.After attending a morning prayer service at Austin's First Baptist Church, Abbott and Patrick again will take the oath of office and give speeches at an inaugural ceremony. It begins at 11 a.m. Central Time on the north side of the Texas Capitol."The governor's going to touch on school finance and property tax reform," said Abbott press secretary John Wittman. "That's the main focus of his speech."Asked if Patrick would generate any news with his speech, Patrick political adviser Allen Blakemore replied, "Stay tuned."At his 2015 inaugural ceremony and parade, Abbott showcased his alma mater, Duncanville High. This time, he hearkened back to a different chapter of his itinerate boyhood, Wittman said.Members of Abbott's old Boy Scout troop, when his family lived in Longview, will lead the crowd in reciting the pledge of allegiance, he said.For the first time in the modern era, the ceremony will be held on the Capitol's north side. Usually, it's staged on the south side. But there, large trees block the view of many in the audience, Abbott said last week, explaining the change of location.A military flyover is scheduled at 11:11 a.m. The Texas National Guard will fire off a 19-gun salute at about 11:42 a.m."Please be advised the gun salute will be loud," the group Downtown Austin Alliance said in an email to businesses near the Capitol. No parade is scheduled this year. Wittman, though, said parades for Texas governors winning a second term have been very rare. Of modern governors, only former Gov. and President George W. Bush, "when he was running for president" in 1999, had a second-inaugural parade, he said.This year, the 2019 Texas Inaugural Committee decided to concentrate the festivities on the Capitol grounds, "rather than seal of 10 blocks of downtown for hours," Wittman said.The barbeque was extended to three hours instead of one hour, he noted.Several bands will play. Bevo XV, the Longhorn mascot who on New Year's Day lunged out of a makeshift corral at the Sugar Bowl, bumping into two photographers and forcing onlookers to flee, will make an appearance, Wittman said.An inaugural ball, starring country music legend George Strait, begins at 8 p.m. at the Palmer Events Center across Lady Bird Lake from downtown.Late Monday, Abbott, Patrick and a select group of big donors had a "candlelight dinner" at a luxury hotel in Austin. Texas country singer-songwriter Cory Morrow performed for invited guests late Monday at the Moody Theater, where the PBS program "Austin City Limits" is taped.  Continue reading...

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