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Everything you need to know about the inauguration

The transition from the outgoing administration of Governor Deval Patrick to the incoming team of Governor-elect Charlie Baker — and from the old Legislature to the new — is steeped in tradition. Events, props, speeches, and festivities accompany the switch. Here’s a look at what to expect.

New lawmakers and leaders

The new Massachusetts General Court — more commonly known as the Legislature — will be sworn in by the outgoing governor on Jan. 7: one ceremony for the House, one for the Senate. The new legislators will then elect a speaker of the House and a Senate president. Current Speaker Robert DeLeo is expected to win another term; Amherst Senator Stanley Rosenberg is expected to be elected Senate president.


Patrick’s farewell

The governor’s supporters will host a two-hour open house reception at the State House Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. The event is free but tickets are required. Then, on Jan. 7, Patrick will take the traditional “Lone Walk,” in which he leaves the State House and returns to life as a private citizen — but not before a 19-gun salute.

The Lone Walk — which dates to the departure of Governor Increase Sumner in 1799 — traditionally has taken place the morning of the new governor’s inauguration, but Patrick (like Mitt Romney before him) will do it the day before. The event is heavy on history.

First, Patrick will hold a private meeting with Baker. Then they will move to a public area for the exchange of four very specific gifts:

The Pewter Key: the ceremonial original key to the governor’s office door. (When outgoing Governor William Weld, not known as a workaholic, handed the key to Paul Cellucci in 1997, he had this to say: “This is the seldom-used key to the governor’s office that, I am reliably informed, works on weekends.” )


The Butler Bible: left by Governor Benjamin Butler to his successors in 1884, since he found no Bible in the office previously. (Butler’s other claims to fame: As a member of Congress in the 1870s, he authored legislation designed to destroy the Ku Klux Klan in the South and giving African-Americans the right to public accommodation.)

The Governor’s Gavel: made from the white oak frame of the original USS Constitution and accepted as the “permanent official gavel” of the Governor’s Council in 1906.

Massachusetts General Statutes: Two volumes, which date back to 1860. The outgoing governor traditionally inscribes a message to his or her successor in this text.

Patrick will then depart for the Lone Walk out of the State House and onto Beacon Street.

Enter, Baker

Governor-elect Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor-elect Karyn Polito, and the Governor’s Council will be officially sworn in Jan. 8. The governor will participate in an entrance ceremony on the State House steps at 10:30 and a citizens welcome ceremony at 11 inside the State House. The swearing-in will be held at noon in the House chamber, and Baker will greet well-wishers on the Grand Staircase at 1:30.


Baker will hold a “Let’s Be Great” celebration Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

The event will feature a variety of musical performers, including:

■ Project STEP, a student string ensemble from Boston

The Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums

The Revolution of Hope string orchestra from Roxbury

The Express Yourself drumming group of Beverly


The O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance of Brighton

The Angkor Dance Troupe, a traditional Cambodian performance arts group from Lowell

Asociacion Carnavalesca de Massachusetts, a Dominican Carnival from Lawrence

Dynasty Production, a Caribbean Carnival Masquerade Band from Hyde Park

OrigiNation, a hip-hop dance group from Roxbury and Jamaica Plain

SciTech Band, a student band from Springfield

The Cape Conservatory Jazz Band from Barnstable and Falmouth

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus

Tickets cost $50 and can be ordered at www.letsbegreat2015.com.

The following day, Baker will hold an inaugural celebration for well-wishers in Central Massachusetts. The festivities will be held at 4:30 p.m. at Union Station in Worcester.

And later in the month . . .

Incoming Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, Attorney General Maura Healey, Treasurer Deb Goldberg, and Auditor Suzanne Bump will be inaugurated Jan. 21.