Warwick, RI – The city’s 2015 inauguration held moments besides pleas for political cooperation, trumpets of economic success and pledges of educational improvements — there were also songs, poetry and the remembrance of a storied public servant.
“It’s all very exciting,” said Ocean State Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Amiee Turner. Tuesday was the first time Warwick had held the city’s inauguration at the theater, one of the rare times an inauguration has been held outside City Hall.
Mayor Scott Avedisian, shortly after taking the oath of office for what will be his ninth term, remarked the venue was appropriate, in the center of Warwick, during a time of many positive developments for the city.
Avedisian also asked the crowd to observe a moment of silence for his friend and mentor, former state senator Lila Sapinsley, who died in December. Sapinsley, a Republican, was an advocate of women’s rights, abortion rights, and widely regarded in RI Politics, according to a report by RINPR.
The night’s most heart-warming moment was Avedisian’s swearing-in, during which two young girls, Paige and Savannah Lenney, held the Bible Avedisian used for the oath. The ceremony required Avedisian to bend over to place his hand on the Bible at the height the girls could hold it, a gesture that clearly pleased the theater’s audience.
The evening also offered a crowd-pleasing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Sophie Colantono, a rousing prelude performed by the Pawtuxet Rangers Fife & Drum Corps, a recital by RI Poet Laureate Rick Benjamin, a Warwick resident, and performances by singer Cora McAuliffe.
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