King Gavin’s Wild Time

Annapolis Mayor-Elect Gavin Buckley is wasting no time throwing a party fit for a king:

Gavin Buckley is planning a party.

The mayor-elect is breaking with years of tradition and hosting an inauguration celebration on Dec. 4, the day he will be sworn in as mayor of Annapolis.

“We’re going big,” Buckley said. “We wanted to make a statement. We campaigned as a change candidate we didn’t run from those words.”

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The inaugural mayoral and City Council ceremony is traditionally a staid affair, hosted at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in front of outgoing elected officials, community leaders and various political dignitaries. In 2013, the Greek ambassador to the United States spoke along with consul for the embassy for the Republic of Cyprus.

Buckley’s day, at least so far, will have gospel singing and a parade.

There will be both public and ticketed events on inauguration day, kicking off with the parade. Starting at 6 a.m., the city will block off the first block of West Street where marching bands will play through.

The parade, featuring the Naptown Brass Band and the Annapolis City Drum and Bugle Corps, will march down West Street toward Church Circle, where there will be a stage set up for Buckley’s speech. A ceremonial band from the Naval Academy will perform before the ceremony and play the National Anthem.

The stage will feature a backdrop art installation by children and muralist Jeff Huntington, whose work on the front of Buckley’s Tsunami restaurant sparked a legal fight with city preservationists, and a gospel choir from Third Baptist Church. Buckley will speak around 4:45, when holiday lights will illuminate West Street.

Following the public parade and swearing in, Buckley will host an inaugural ball at Loews Annapolis hotel.

The ball will be ticketed — $100 a person. The soiree will feature a 17-piece swing band, hors d’oeuvre and a cash bar. The tickets will pay for the cost of the ball, Buckley said, and his team will be giving away an undetermined amount of tickets.

After a long, hard-fought campaign, this is the message that Gavin Buckley wants to send to Annapolitans? After being running a campaign allegedly as a change agent Gavin Buckley wants to throw a party full of pomp and circumstance?

This is a radical break in tradition for the city of Annapolis, where mayoral inaugurations have been a stoic, intimate affair respectful of the place that Annapolis holds in the history of our state and of our country.

Instead, Gavin Buckley’s first act is to throw a wild shindig for the purpose of glorifying himself. It signifies that Buckley will govern as a change agent alright, but one that will rule from City Hall as an insufferable egomaniac.

From the looks of it, Annapolis is in for a rough four years.

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