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Pike Countians enjoyed inaugural festivities

County GOP leader Lawrence

Bowden said everything connected with Inauguration Day was well planned, well done and in excellent taste.

"The people of Alabama should be proud that the new administration is getting off to such a good start," Bowden said. "The governor and all the constitutional officers have dedicated themselves, with the help of God, to provide the people of Alabama with a state government that will be dedicated to the betterment of the people of Alabama."

Bowden's wife Sara watched

the events on television.

"What impressed me most was that the inauguration and swearing n ceremonies

seemed to have a deep underlying religious theme, not only for the governor, but for the lieutenant governor," she said. "Lucy Baxley was sworn in by her pastor. That was significant historically and from a religious perspective. The underlying theme of the ceremonies seemed to be based in a faith in God's guidance for us and the State of Alabama."

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford was unable to attend the inaugural event because of meetings with an industrial prospect.

"I caught what I could on the news," Lunsford said. "I think we are in a time when we have a governor who is definitely going to do his best. He is a very principled man. I don't envy him a bit. We are facing some very difficult issues, but I believe we have the people in place - the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house - who are in positions to resolve some of the problems we are facing."

Pike County Junior Miss Celeste Sanders had the opportunity to ride on one of Pike County's two floats in the Inaugural Parade.

"This wasn't my first inauguration, but it was the best," she said. "I went to the inauguration when I was in the fourth grade and Fob James was inaugurated. This time I really felt a part of everything that was

going on. Some people recognized me from the Alabama State Junior Miss Program and I hadn't expected that."

Neither had Celeste expected to see snipers on top of the buildings.

"I looked up and saw the snipers and I realized that a lot of precautions were being taken," she said. "But, I think the inauguration and parade were well organized, carefully planned and all precautions were taken."