Jan 11, 2011 11:34 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Inauguration dinner offers barbecue and advice

Bolo ties and boots crowd the Fillmore Auditorium Tuesday night in support of the next four years under Colorado's 42nd Governor, John Hickenlooper.

"You got three thousand people here who are all willing to invest themselves in working together to make Colorado better, so I am deliriously excited," Hickenlooper tells News First 5.

The menu included Colorado beer, Colorado wine, Colorado pulled pork, Colorado beef brisket, vegetarian tamales, and doughnut holes rolled in Enstrom's almond toffee crumbles, just to name a few. The night's festivities still cost thousands dollars, but people take note of the casual theme, trading a sit-down dinner to a stand-up buffet.

"We're not extravagant. It's just a good time to actually enjoy what we have and move forward," remarks State Senator Edward Vigil, (D) San Luis.

Wednesday, the state legislative session begins. They'll tackle the budget deficit and they'll work to help people find jobs.

"Someone who's lost their job, they don't care if it is a Republican or Democrat in control. All they want is an opportunity to find a good-paying job," says State House Minority Leader Sal Pace, (D) Pueblo.

"There are people here that I'm sure didn't vote for John Hickenlooper, but now it is time for everybody to coalesce behind our elected leaders and let's get Colorado moving again," says State Senate Majority Leader John Morse, (D) Colorado Springs.

During the dinner program, several former Colorado Governors took the stage to offer advice, both heart-felt and in good humor.

"Governor Hickenlooper, be careful of press conferences," warns Dick Lamm.

"Compassion means demonstrating courage on behalf of those in need without regard for personal gain," says a teary-eyed Bill Ritter.

"Never ever ever say the entire state is burning, even if it is burning," jokes Bill Owens.

"John, get a couch. Get a couch and take a 10-minute nap every day," exclaims Roy Romer.

Hickenlooper plans to do a state-wide tour to solicit ideas for his administration to tackle starting Friday.




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