SPRINGFIELD — When it comes to the festivities surrounding the swearing in of Illinois' next governor, a former chief executive has some advice for Bruce Rauner.
"Enjoy that day because its all downhill from there," said Jim Edgar, who went through his first of two inaugurations 24 years ago.
Activities planned as part of the Winnetka businessman's inauguration get underway Sunday and end Monday evening with a concert by country music star Toby Keith at a downtown Springfield convention center.
Edgar, who was Illinois' 38th governor, said Rauner should focus on having fun at the various events before the day-to-day chores of managing state government take center stage in his life.
"He's not going to have any honeymoon," Edgar told the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. "After Monday it will be reacting to one crisis after another. He's got to hit the ground running."
As for his own first inauguration, Edgar said he was nervous, even though he'd already served in a statewide office as secretary of state.
In the weeks leading up to his swearing in, Edgar said he took dancing lessons to prepare for the inaugural ball.
"It didn't do much good," he said.
After the long, celebratory day, Edgar said he headed off to bed in the Executive Mansion around midnight while first lady Brenda Edgar walked through the old house turning off lights.
"All of a sudden the Illinois State Police are on the phone telling me that its their job to turn off the lights," Edgar said. "As governor, its a whole different level."