Maine’s poet laureate and a poet who appeared at a presidential inauguration will read original works, and local musicians ranging from Dave Mallett to the Sockalexis Family Singers from the Penobscot Nation will perform at next week’s inauguration of Gov. Janet Mills in Augusta.

“The inauguration of a governor is about the people of Maine,” Mills said in a prepared statement. “Maine people are kind, hardworking, creative, and, above all else, strong. The talented folks performing at my inauguration are a tribute to the people of our great state, a showcasing of our talents and skills, and a profound reminder of all that is special about Maine.”

The inauguration is to be held Wednesday, Jan. 4, and is open to the public. Tickets are available online at or by calling 207-358-9350 to reserve one to be picked up at will call. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis until the Civic Center’s capacity is reached.

An inaugural celebration will take place the next day, Jan. 5, but that is by invitation only.

The public event begins at 5 p.m. with an hour-long pre-inaugural concert. Julia Bouwsma and Richard Blanco will read from their poetry, and the Pihcintu Multi-National Girls Choir of Portland and Mallett will perform at 6:30 p.m.

Mills, Maine’s first female governor, will be sworn in and deliver her inaugural address at about 7 p.m.


Bouwsma is a poet, farmer and small-town librarian who lives off the grid in the mountains of western Maine. She is the author of two poetry collections: “Midden” and “Work by Bloodlight.” Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to read at a presidential inauguration.

Other musical guests scheduled to perform at the inauguration include the 195th Maine Army National Guard Band and the Franklin County Fiddlers, a group of Mt. Blue High School student fiddlers from Mills’ hometown of Farmington.

Mills earned more votes than any governor in Maine history in her November victory over former two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage. She is the first governor since 1970 to be elected with a clear majority of votes for both terms in office.

Mills spent about $200,000 on her 2019 inauguration, which was also held at the Augusta Civic Center, but it took her campaign almost a year to settle up with the city-owned venue because the amount was $60,000 more than originally quoted.

The unexpected overage required the Mills campaign to conduct additional, post-deadline fundraising 10 months past the legal deadline to do so, which resulted in a $2,000 fine from the Maine Ethics Commission under a new law on inaugural committee finances.

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