Inaugural Celebration to Showcase Maine-Centered Entertainment and Food

Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Inaugural Celebration – which will take place on Thursday, January 5th from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center – will feature entertainment from Maine-based musicians as well as food and beverages from across the state.

“The inaugural celebration pays tribute to our incredible state and people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I am thrilled to showcase the extraordinary foods, cultures, and music that make our state so special.”

Entertainment for the evening includes the RJ Miller Trio, Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew, and Retrospecticus. The menu for the celebration pays tribute to cultures and tastes of the people of Maine. From Franco-American tourtière and poutine, to New-American African chicken and peanut stew, to mini italians & Greek/North African lamb kefta, the diversity of Maine and its flavors will be on display. In addition, local purveyors and sponsors will be featured in classic New England fare with a twist, such as Shuck’s Lobster mac & cheese, Maine Coast Fishermen’s monkfish stew and Maine Grains corn and maple muffins. Desserts will include Maine Needham Company, Bixby Chocolates, and Coffee by Design.

The Inaugural Celebration will be emceed by Blake Hayes of Coast 93.1. In line with past practice, the “cocktail attire, Bean boot optional” event is by invitation-only. The celebration will feature a large stage for entertainment, a dance floor, tables, food stations, and cash bars. Costs will be covered by a $30 ticketing charge, as well as by donations raised through the Mills Inaugural Committee.

The event is open to the press but will require credentials in order to cover. Additional details on credentialing and coverage logistics will be released later today. 

Timeline (Subject to Change) and Background on Entertainment

  • 7:00 p.m.:   Welcome from the Emcee, Blake Hayes
  • 7:05 p.m.:   Music and Dancing, RJ Miller Trio

The RJ Miller Trio features Maine based drummer and composer RJ Miller, guitarist Peter Herman, and bassist Dan Klingsberg.  Long a fixture on the New York City jazz and experimental music scenes, the globe trotting, Maine-bred drummer can be heard on recordings like “Alive in Japan” (Aaron Parks), “Ben Entrada La Nit” (Bill McHenry), and his own electronic solo debut album “Ronald’s Rhythm” (2013).  Miller teaches music at the Maine Arts Academy, Bowdoin College, Colby College and University of Maine Augusta, while maintaining musical connections/relationships in Europe and New York, backing the singer Paula Cole on her run of U.S. performances in the summer of 2022.

  • 7:45 p.m.:   Music and Dancing, Gina and the Red Eye Flight Crew

When Boston-based vocalist 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 compared to the blues comprehension of Susan Tedeschi with a knack for songwriting aligned with the likes of a young Christine McVie. The energetic nine-piece collective tackles originals with a flair for the funky and seasoned professionalism. The Flight Crew catalogue draws from a list of Pop, Soul, and R&B favorites that may surprise you, but most certainly will make you move.

  • 8:40 p.m.:   Ben Waxman, Co-Owner of American Roots, Introduces Governor Mills
  • 8:45 p.m.:   Governor Mills Offers Brief Remarks
  • 8:50 p.m.:   Music and Dancing, Retrospecticus

Retrospecticus is a high energy dance band specializing in popular music spanning over 7 decades.  The band is fronted by the talented and soulful vocalist Stephanie Fogg and directed by her husband and pianist Matthew Fogg. Together the couple have performed alongside artists as diverse as Otis Redding III and Delvin Choice from The Voice and venues as wide ranging as an intimate seaside wedding along the Maine Coast to Carnegie Hall.



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