Day of service among activities tied to Deal inauguration

Georgia will welcome a new governor with a series of events, beginning Jan. 8.

The inaugural celebration of Nathan Deal will kick off with a day of service with Georgians helping Georgians.

The day, dubbed "With a Servant's Heart," will offer volunteers a chance to participate in 17 service projects in eight Georgia communities on Jan. 8. The list of communities and projects is growing, and more will be added, said Harris Blackwood, the communications director of the Deal Inaugural Committee.

Service projects will include collecting and sorting canned food, roadside and river cleanups, and a day of service at a health care clinic. Volunteers can find additional information at www.dealinaugural.com  or call (404) 681-4717.

The website includes a local contact for each project. Blackwood suggested that volunteers call before arriving.

Events will continue on Jan. 10.

That morning there will be a 9 a.m. prayer service at Mount Paran Church, 2055 Mount Paran Road N.W.

The highlight of the day, though, will be the swearing-in ceremony, which will be held at 2 p.m. at the Georgia State Capitol, 100 Washington St.

The ceremony will be followed by the inaugural gala, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena. Organizers are mum on the entertainment, only saying in a release that it will include "a number of musical performers from Georgia, as well as a nationally known headliner."

Unlike the day of service, the gala is an invitation-only event and will be funded by private contributions.

"There's a lot of work that goes into planning the inaugural," said Tricia Pridemore, co-chairwoman of the inaugural committee. "We're looking at the history of the previous inaugurations, working with the Deal family and working with other constitutional officers to determine the right set of events for the weekend."