Baldacci, crowd celebrate


AUGUSTA (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci wore a tuxedo and his wife Karen wore a purple gown with silver brocade jacket as the first couple danced at Baldacci’s inaugural gala Thursday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

The first couple smiled as they danced to the music of “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” at the high point of the celebration of Baldacci’s inauguration.

In an event full of fanfare and traditional pagentry the previous night, Baldacci took the oath of office, beginning the second and final term for Maine’s 73rd governor.

The gala was packed with elected and appointed state officials and other supporters and friends of the Democratic governor. Guests dined on Maine-produced cheese, smoked meats, fish and beverages at the gala.

Private donors chipped in the $250,000-$300,000 cost for both nights’ events. The state does not provide public funds for either.