HARRISBURG - Rock band Bon Jovi, Harrisburg restaurants and school bands from all over the state were part of yesterday's daylong celebration of Gov. Rendell's inauguration for a second term.
The day brought Rendell supporters from as far away as Pittsburgh, and Democratic dignitaries, such as Philadelphia's Mayor Street and newly elected U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.
Ballet, jazz and a Chinese folk orchestra were among the music offerings in an afternoon-long tribute to the arts, while restaurants boasted menus of everything from baked trout to baby back ribs for a fixed price of $20.07.
Here are some slices of the day's happenings:
The evening gala concert at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex drew 4,000 to 5,000 guests and volunteers, organizers said. Tickets were $100, although donors to the event paid less.
Rendell and his wife, Midge, were introduced to the crowd to the strains of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."
The two-hour concert was hosted by Michael Barkann, a Comcast SportsNet personality who hosts the Philadelphia Eagles' postgame shows with Rendell. Barkann joked that he'd been asked in the morning to be the inaugural host, and said his first thought was that "Bob Costas said, 'No.' "
Former Philadelphia Eagles star Vince Papale, the subject of the recent movie Invincible, also spoke between performances. He called Rendell "the ultimate sports junkie" and said some people think they know as much about sports as they do about politics. "You sort of wonder how [Rendell] would feel if the Eagles players became Monday-morning governors," he said.
Even more talented than Rendell was his wife, Midge, who capped the concert by singing a duet with rock star Jon Bon Jovi of "Who Says You Can't Go Home?"
The performance brought the night's first standing ovation. Rendell ambled up on stage afterward and marveled that no other first lady could sing with Bon Jovi.
"Take that Maria Shriver," he bellowed, referring to the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Other performers included Jill Scott, Frankie Avalon, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Bianca Ryan, Michael Reid and the Trammps, who sang "Disco Inferno."
Perhaps the happiest couple at the event was the state's new Republican House speaker, Rep. Dennis M. O'Brien of Philadelphia, and the Democratic House majority leader, Rep. Bill DeWeese of Greene County. The pair posed for photos together after the concert and then headed off to find food and drinks.
"It's nice to hang out with Democrats," O'Brien said. "They have all the fun."
O'Brien and a few other Republicans showed up, including Victor Stabile, the Cumberland County GOP chairman. Still, Stabile, whose wife serves in the Rendell administration, said he could enjoy the event because Rendell is the governor of all of Pennsylvania.
"I'm going to enjoy one of Pat's cheesesteaks on his behalf," Stabile said.