Local send-off for Murray and Patrick sold out; Pre-inaugural gala Wednesday will be held at Union Station.


Byline: Shaun Sutner WORCESTER - Inauguration fever will seize the city next week, when a capacity crowd packs Union Station to give a resounding send-off to Worcester's favorite political son, Mayor and Lt. Gov.-elect Timothy P. Murray, and Gov.-elect Deval L. Patrick. Wednesday's pre-inaugural party is expected to draw 1,750 revelers to celebrate the Democrats' victory Nov. 7, when Mr. Patrick became the state's first black elected governor and the Democrats regained control of the office after 16 years of Republican rule. The $20 tickets to the 7 p.m., black tie-optional event, being held on the eve of Mr. Patrick's and Mr. Murray's official inauguration Jan. 4 at the Statehouse, were sold out as of Thursday, organizers said. "The response has been tremendous," said Michael Cohen, a spokesman for the Patrick-Murray Inaugural Committee. "A lot more people wanted to go. However, we were limited by the capacity of the building. It can only hold so many people." Inaugural committee officials want people who come to the party to bring along new or slightly used shoes and socks to be donated to Cradles to Crayons, a Quincy-based charity that distributes them to the needy. Parking could be a major issue. Attendees are being urged to use free parking in the municipal lots around the station and in the lot of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church across Shrewsbury Street, or nominal-charge parking in the former outlet mall garage across from Union Station. Valet parking will be available, but drivers may encounter long lines if too many try to use it. Ticket-holders are urged to pick up their tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines at check-in for those who bought their tickets from the inaugural Web site. They can pick up the tickets at Union Station today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. Union Station will be bathed in red, white and blue floodlights for the catered event (cash bar). Mr. Patrick, Mr. Murray and other speakers will address the crowd, with onlookers being able to view the proceedings on monitors in overflow areas around the building. Live music will be...

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