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The Colorado Capitol during the swearing-in of Jared Polis as the 43rd governor of Colorado. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
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Jared Polis will become Colorado’s 43rd governor on Tuesday as he is sworn into office during a day of inaugural festivities, marking a new day of leadership for the state.

Jared Polis is a Democrat. (Jacob Paul, Special to The Colorado Sun)

It also means the end of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s eight years in the state’s highest office as he inches closer to a 2020 presidential bid.

The historic transfer of power — Polis will be both the state’s first openly gay governor and its first Jewish one — comes as Democrats for the first time since 1936 will take over both chambers of the legislature as well as the offices for treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state.

The public won’t be able to participate in all of the events Tuesday, but you can still get a taste of the history being made.

Here’s what you need to know:

(The Colorado Sun will embed a live-stream of the swearing-in on this page when it commences Tuesday morning.)

The swearing-in ceremony

The swearing-in ceremony will be held on the west steps of the Colorado Capitol starting at 11 a.m.

Not everyone will be able to get very close, physically speaking, to the stage where the action will be happening, but starting at 9 a.m., a public viewing area will open on Lincoln Street between East Colfax and East 14th Avenues.

(Those areas will be, of course, shut down for motorists. Downtown commuters should expect backups and rerouting.)

Large screens will give those in the public viewing area a better view of the action. Those who don’t have a direct view, however, will have plenty of other sights and sounds to take in.

MORE: Meet America’s first pot governor, Colorado’s Jared Polis

During the swearing-in, here’s what you can expect:

  • An inaugural address from Polis
  • Remarks from Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder
  • Remarks from outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper, who will be accompanied by outgoing Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne
  • Performances by the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus and Denver Women’s Chorus
  • A Sikh blessing
  • Poetry recitation
  • A Native American blessing
  • A benediction by a rabbi

Also being sworn in Tuesday are three Democrats who won helped the party sweep the constitutional statewide offices: Jena Griswold, the new secretary of state; Phil Weiser, the new attorney general; and Dave Young, the new state treasurer.

A number of local television stations will be live-streaming the entire event. You will also be able to follow along on the Colorado Channel through their YouTube page. (Link)

Jared Polis speaks to reporters on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

The “Blue Sneaker Ball”

After the public swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol, Polis will host an inaugural ball Tuesday night named after his tendency to wear blue sneakers, instead of dress shoes, with his suits.

Tickets for the ball, which will be held at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, are sold out.

The ball will feature musical performances by Cyndi Lauper and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.  


The Colorado Sun —

Desk: 720-432-2229

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage.

A Colorado College graduate, Jesse worked at The Denver Post from June 2014 until July 2018, when he joined The Sun. He was also an intern at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, his hometown.

Jesse has won awards for long form feature writing, public service reporting, sustained coverage and deadline news reporting.

Email: Twitter: @jesseapaul