Ken Welch set for historic Inauguration Day, announces agenda
COVID-19 deals another tough break for St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch. Image via AP.

Ken Welch AP
Welch will be St. Petersburg's first Black Mayor.

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch has announced the agenda for his historic inauguration on Jan. 6, where he will be sworn in as the city’s first Black Mayor.

The inauguration ceremony will take place on the steps of City Hall, starting at noon. The celebration will include performances from Lakewood High School’s marching band, University of South Florida sophomore Jordan Bolds on saxophone and a special tribute by Katrina Welch, the Mayor-elect’s sister.

Before the mayoral inauguration, the five newly elected and re-elected City Council members will be sworn-in inside City Hall Council Chambers. Those set to be sworn-in include incumbent City Council members Gina Driscoll and Brandi Gabbard, as well as newcomers Copley Gerdes, Lisset Hanewicz and Richie Floyd.

After the mayoral inauguration, the marching band from Lakewood High School, Welch’s alma mater, will lead the new Mayor and Council members from City Hall to Williams Park for a community celebration. There, the elected officials will have a community meet-and-greet starting at 1 p.m. The event will feature food and drinks, a DJ and more.

“This is a day to celebrate St. Petersburg — every unique fiber of our city that makes us who we are. The historic nature of this celebration humbles me and is close to my heart. I want to share the day with the community. St. Petersburg put its trust in me to lead us into tomorrow, but I have not and will not lose sight of all those who built the rich foundation we stand on today,” Welch said in a statement.

All events are open to the public and the theme #WeAreStPete will be on display throughout the day’s festivities. The inauguration will be live-streamed on the city of St. Petersburg’s government channel as well as on Facebook and the city’s website.

Welch, a former Pinellas County Commissioner, bested City Council member Robert Blackmon with 60% of the vote to Blackmon’s 40% in November. He is set to replace incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is leaving office due to term limits.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


One comment

  • S. Rose Smith-Hayes

    December 19, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Mayor Welch is young enough and strong enough to stand up under the storm that is coming his way. He will have a lot of support from the community.

Comments are closed.


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