Utah Gov.-elect Spencer Cox to hold January inauguration in Ivins

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo)Utah Gov.-elect Spencer Cox, joined by his running mate Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, at the front steps of the Utah Capitol in July. A state panel announced Saturday they will hold their Jan. 4 inauguration at Tuachan Center for the Arts in Ivins, where the center’s open-air amphitheatre will allow for physical distancing among attendees.

Utah Gov.-elect Spencer Cox will hold his early January inauguration at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, a state panel announced Saturday.

The Utah Inaugural Commission said the Jan. 4 ceremony in southwestern Utah will be marked by addresses from Cox, currently lieutenant governor, and his running mate, state Sen. Deidre Henderson, along with musical performances, a 19-gun salute and a special flyover by the Utah National Guard.

Also taking oaths of office that day at the performance venue in Washington County will be Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Treasurer David Damschen and Auditor John Dougall, the commission said in a statement.

The venue is a something of a departure from tradition, which has usually seen inaugurations held at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City, with the recent exception of a three-year period starting in 2004 when the building was undergoing renovations.

Located at the mouth of Padre Canyon near Snow Canyon State Park, the Tuacahn amphitheater is rimmed with distinct redrock walls. More crucially, it is open air, allowing for what officials said will be strict health precautions for attendees of the historic event.

As currently planned, total attendance will be capped at 25% of the amphitheater’s usual 1,920-seat capacity, with guests required to physically distance, the announcement said.

The 10 a.m. inauguration that Monday will be preceded by days of service and prayer, including a special in-person food drive to cap the monthlong statewide charitable campaign that Cox and Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, launched Friday.

The commission has launched a website at http://www.utahinauguralcommission.org on the event, with more details, including how to request tickets, to be released in the coming weeks.

Cox, who lives in Fairview in Sanpete County and commutes to Salt Lake City, is working closely with the commission and health officials to monitor the coronavirus pandemic, the statement said, “and will adjust inaugural plans as needed.”

The day before the inauguration, Cox and Henderson will attend several faith services in the St. George area, the statement said.

And after they are sworn in, the two will make scheduled stops along a route taking them through Fairview, Fillmore and Spanish Fork on their way back to Salt Lake City.

The inauguration also will be broadcast live at http://www.utah.gov and on public TV in Utah.

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