OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma begin it’s 2023 kickoff of inauguration statewide festivities on yesterday ahead of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s swearing in. The 2023 inauguration for the swearing in of Gov. Kevin Stitt and all statewide elected offices is set for Jan. 9 at the state Capitol.

A series of inauguration ceremonies, which began yesterday, will be free and open to the public with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A prayer service is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Jan. 8 at Southern Hills Baptist Church, 8601 S Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City. The event also is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket sales for three scheduled inaugural balls require tickets.

There are balls in Tulsa on Jan. 6, in Enid on Jan. 7, and in Oklahoma City on Jan. 9.

The Oklahoma Inaugural Committee is chaired by first lady Sarah Stitt, and the Inaugural Ceremony Committee is chaired by John Budd, chief operating officer for GKFF and former chief operating officer for the Stitt administration.

The first event was held in Tulsa on Friday evening at the BOK Center in downtown.

Another ball will be held in Enid at the Stride Event Center on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Finally, the last ball will be held at the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City on Monday. That event is also set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The State of Oklahoma has been a state for more than 100 years, with Governor Stitt serving as the 28 governor in Oklahoma history to be re-elected to a second term.

According to the Oklahoma Historical Society prior to early history a new governor could only serve four years. They could be re-elected, but not in consecutive terms. Only five people were re-elected to a second term as governor: George Nigh, Frank Keating, Brad Henry, Mary Fallin, and Kevin Stitt. 

Oklahoma has had 28 governors, six of them were Republicans, and 22 of them were Democrats.

A report filed July 11 according to the The Oklahoman indicated Stitt’s inauguration celebrations cost was more than former Gov. Mary Fallin spent on both of her inauguration festivities combined, which was $2.36 million. Stitt’s committee has reportedly used all of the $2,471,900 that was raised from contributed funds and ticket sales, exhausting residual funds in his inaugural account.

Many of the inaugural balls have left memories that Oklahoman’s will not ever forget and this year’s festivities are sure to bring forth many more . Pictured below is the iconic gown worn by First Lady Cathy Keating.

Cathy Keating’s Inaugural Dress / Photo courtesy the Oklahoma Historical Society