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Walsh announces inauguration plans

Mayor-elect Martin Walsh.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mayor-elect Martin Walsh.

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh on Saturday announced a four-day inaugural program designed to engage city residents of all ages and ethnicities while promoting community service.

“It’s about making sure that we can allow different people to be part of it,” Walsh said in an interview Saturday. “The civic engagement is, to me, the most important of it all.”

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The events appear to symbolize an inclusive new city government and will include outreach to Boston’s oldest and youngest residents, as well as volunteer activities. It will be capped by an inauguration set to be the largest in recent memory.

Walsh will be sworn in by Roderick L. Ireland, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, on Jan. 6, at Silvio O. Conte Forum at his alma mater, Boston College.

It will be the first mayoral inauguration held outside the city’s downtown center since Mayor Kevin H. White’s fourth inauguration in 1980, held at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. White’s other inaugurations, as well as those of outgoing Mayor Thomas M. Menino, were held at Faneuil Hall. Raymond L. Flynn, who served between White and Menino, was inaugurated at the Wang Center and Old North Church

Walsh said he chose the location with constituents in mind.

“Some people say you should have done Faneuil Hall or something,” he said in the Saturday interview following a town hall meeting held to solicit ideas on how city government can function better. “Faneuil Hall holds about 1,500 people. I don’t want to be exclusive of anybody. I think anyone who wants to come, they are more than welcome to come.”

Conte Forum is the college’s main indoor athletic venue and can seat more than 8,000 spectators. A BC spokesman said the arena “is an ideal location for the ceremony.”

“It’s accessible by public transportation,” said Jack Dunn, the spokesman. “It has ample capacity.”

Walsh, a graduate of BC’s Woods College of Advancing Studies, said the site has personal significance.“I went to school there at night, so I went there with a lot of people who were older,” he said.

Dunn also touted the mayor-elect’s ties to the institution. “We are very proud of Mayor-elect Walsh and pleased to host the mayoral inauguration,” Dunn said.

In his statement, Walsh announced three days of activities preceding his swearing-in, along with a website, bostoninaugural2014.org

On Friday, Jan. 3, Walsh and volunteers from his transition committee, campaign, and inaugural committee will participate in service projects including painting school buildings, serving meals to the homeless, and cleaning up parks.

On Jan. 4, Walsh will host a youth summit at Roxbury Community College where students in grades 6 to 9 will be asked to “share their hopes and dreams for Boston’s future” with the incoming mayor.

On Jan. 5, Walsh will host a brunch for seniors at Northeastern University’s Cabot Athletic Center followed by an interfaith service at Old South Church hosted by the Rev. Jeffrey Brown. Walsh said the brunch would send a message to the city’s older residents.

Walsh will also host a celebration at Hynes Convention Center on the night of his swearing in. Details will be announced in the coming days.

Mark Arsenault of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Wesley Lowery can be reached at wesley.lowery@globe.com.
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