AUGUSTA – Republicans are elated over their first gubernatorial election victory in two decades, but they won’t celebrate by dancing the night away.

Recognizing Maine’s fragile economy, Republican Gov.-elect Paul LePage has opted against a glitzy inaugural ball next month, officials say. Instead, there will be a reception with a receiving line for LePage and his wife, Ann, at the Augusta Civic Center.

The invitation-only reception on Jan. 5 will follow a ceremony in which LePage will be sworn into office before a joint session of the Legislature at the civic center.

LePage was adamant about having no fancy ball.

“He’s just looking forward to taking the basic oath, and going to work,” said Brent Littlefield, LePage’s senior political adviser and inaugural director.

Republicans have reason to party.

The last time the GOP won the governor’s race was in 1990 — John McKernan’s second term. It has been even longer since the GOP has controlled both legislative chambers.

As is custom, LePage will take the oath of office before lawmakers from both chambers of the Legislature, as well as tribal leaders, party officials, diplomats and their spouses. Afterward, the civic center will be transformed in a matter of hours to make way for the reception. There will be music, light food, a cash bar and a receiving line. If there’s any dancing, it will be spontaneous.

LePage’s supporters don’t feel shortchanged, especially as the state faces as much as a $1 billion budget shortfall and more than 50,000 Mainers are out of work.

“People are suffering in the state, and he doesn’t feel like whooping it up is appropriate. I admire that,” said Amy Hale, founder of Maine Patriots, a tea party group with nearly 1,000 members.

In Maine, inaugural balls have never taken on the status and prestige that accompany presidential balls, said Earle Shettleworth, state historian.

Independent Gov. Angus King and first lady Mary Herman threw a massive shindig after his first election, renting out a hangar at the Brunswick Naval Air Station and inviting the public to join them.

But that’s not the norm, Shettleworth said.

Beyond the lack of a formal ball, LePage’s inaugural activities will be fairly typical. Both of Gov. John Baldacci’s events, like LePage’s, were invitation-only.

The early end of LePage’s reception — 8:30 p.m. — means he can get to bed early.

He’ll be in his office the next morning, making good on his promises to cut red tape for businesses, lower the cost of state government and create jobs, Littlefield said.