From Lady Antebellum To Hula Dancers: 7 Ways Winning Governors Are Partying

PHOTO: Hawaii Governor-elect David Ige, center, waves at the Democratic Coordinated Election Night Celebration at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in Honolulu, in this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo.Eugene Tanner/AP Photo
Hawaii Governor-elect David Ige, center, waves between Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, left, and U.S. Rep. Maize Hirono at the Democratic Coordinated Election Night Celebration at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in Honolulu, in this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo.

The nation’s newly elected governors are demonstrating that they know how to throw a party with inaugural celebrations featuring the country’s biggest music stars, hula dancers, a scavenger hunt and other surprising events.


Republican Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, who won a closely watched race against Wendy Davis for Gov. Rick Perry's seat, is going big for his inaugural celebration. The Grammy award-winning country group Lady Antebellum will be headlining his Jan. 20 "Future of Texas" black-tie ball. Before that, Abbott is holding a parade through Austin ending with a barbecue, reportedly featuring 4 tons of brisket.


Already inaugurated Gov. David Ige held a lively, colorful ceremony complete with hula dancers, conch-shell calls and ukulele serenades. Sure, it may be what you’d expect in Hawaii, but it's not usual at a politician’s oath of office ceremony. Ige wore bright yellow leis when he was sworn in on Dec. 1.


The country music star will perform at an all-night concert celebrating Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner's inauguration on Jan. 12. The newly-elected Republican Rauner also plans on holding a formal dinner the night before the concert with each seat costing $1,000, according to the Associated Press. But there will also be free events for supporters to attend like an open house with Rauner and his wife at the Illinois Capitol.


Although he's from one of the wealthiest families in the North Star State, re-elected Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will be keeping it casual at his inaugural party this weekend with jeans as the dress code. Dayton also kept it low-key in the past. At his 2010 inaugural ball, he showed up in jeans and an old hockey jersey. Dayton was already sworn in today at a ceremony in St. Paul.


Gov. Maggie Hassan will be sworn in on Thursday. Her ceremony features a scavenger hunt for children at the State House in Concord. Hassan also has two inaugural balls planned for her next week.


There was no gala ball, no black-tie dinner, and no parade for Rick Scott. The Republican governor opted to attend informal barbecues at several Floridian businesses. Scott’s state-wide tour that he called "Jobs Jamboree” was an effort to focus attention on local businesses and cost about $800,000. That was in sharp contrast to Scott's lavish inaugural celebration in 2010 which cost nearly $3 million. According to the New York Times, when Scott was first elected, his inauguration celebration was so extravagant, it was known amongst politicos as the "coronation."


Re-elected Gov. John Kitzhaber didn't hold a party the last time he was elected, and he isn't planning one this year either. However, the Democratic governor's re-election campaign is promising cookies after Kitzhaber's inaugural address on Jan. 12. No word yet on what kind of cookies will be offered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.