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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Inaugural celebration showcasing Maine-centric entertainment and food

Inaugural celebration showcasing Maine-centric entertainment and food

Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Inaugural Celebration will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, January 5 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. with entertainment from Maine musicians and Food and drink from across the state.

“The inaugural celebration honors our incredible country and people,” Governor Janet Mills says“I’m excited to showcase the extraordinary food, culture and music that make our state so special.”

Evening entertainment included the RJ Miller Trio, Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew, and Retrospecticus. The celebration’s menu pays homage to the culture and tastes of the people of Maine. From French-American tourtière and poutine, to New American-African chicken and peanut stew, to mini Italian and Greek/North African lamb kefta, the diversity and flavors of Maine are on display. Additionally, local vendors and sponsors will feature on classic New England favorites such as Shuck’s Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, Maine Shore Fisherman’s Monkfish Stew and Maine Grain Corn and Maple Muffins. Desserts will include Maine Needham Company, Bixby Chocolates and Coffee by Design.

The inaugural ceremony will be hosted by Blake Hayes of Coast 93.1. As is customary in the past, the “Cocktail Party Attire, Bean Boots Optional” event is by invitation only. The celebration will feature a large entertainment stage, dance floor, tables, food stations and a cash bar. Cost will be covered by a $30 ticket fee and donations raised through the Mills Inaugural Committee.

The event is open to the media, but credentials are required for reporting. Further details on certification and coverage logistics will be released later today.

Schedule (subject to change) and entertainment background

  • 7:00 pm: Welcome by host Blake Hayes
  • 7:05 pm: Music and Dance, RJ Miller Trio

The RJ Miller Trio features Maine drummer/composer RJ Miller, guitarist Peter Herman and bassist Dan Klingsberg. A regular on New York City’s jazz and experimental music scene, the Maine-born drummer has toured the world, performing on shows such as “Living in Japan” (Aaron Parks), “Ben Entrada La Nit” (Bill McHenry) and his own debut electronica. Solo album “Ronald’s Rhythm” (2013). Miller teaches music at Maine College of the Arts, Bowdoin College, Colby College and Augusta University of Maine, while maintaining musical connections/relationships in Europe and New York, supporting singer Paula Cole in Summer 2022 Performances in the United States.

  • 7:45 p.m.: Music and dance, Gina and the red-eye crew

When Boston singer Gina Alibrio moved to Portland, she joined forces with members of Rustic Overtones, Jaw Gems, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds and Model Airplane to form “Gina And The Red Eye Flight Crew.” Alibrio’s vocals have been likened to Susan Tedeschi’s take on the blues, and her songwriting skills matched a young Christine McVie’s penchant for it. The dynamic nine-member ensemble tackles original productions with sassy yet sophisticated professionalism. The Flight Crew catalog draws from a list of favorites in pop, soul, and R&B that might surprise you, but are sure to move you.

  • 8:40pm: American Roots co-owner Ben Waxman presents Governor Mills
  • 8:45 p.m.: Governor Mills speaks briefly
  • 8:50 pm: Music and Dance, Retrospecticus

Retrospecticus is a dynamic dance band focused on pop music spanning 7 years. The group is led by talented and soulful singer Stephanie Fogg, conducted by her husband and pianist Matthew Fogg. The couple performed with artists as diverse as Otis Redding III from The Voice and Delvin Choice, and performed in venues ranging from the coast of Maine to an intimate waterfront wedding at Carnegie Hall.

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