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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Governor's mansion open house draws huge crowd



Gov. Rick Scott's inauguration festivities continued Tuesday afternoon with an open house at the governor's mansion. People lined up for several blocks for a chance to meet Scott and gawk at his new home. Some posed for photos with Scott and his wife in the dining room after offering handshakes and hugs. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and her husband doled out more greetings nearby in the Florida room. An outside tent offered guests cups of hot cocoa and cider on their way out.

Marti Saconchik-Pytel of Tallahassee came with her husband, Larry, a Marine veteran who served in Vietnam. She said they complimented the governor on Monday's military concert, which featured several country music artists, and his "elegant" parade. "We've never seen this many bands of the state," Saconchik-Pytel said. "It was very interesting to see so many young people."

At least one band stayed in town for the open house. Uniform-clad students of Barron Collier High School -- from Naples, Scott's hometown -- cheered as they entered the mansion's gates. Several families took advantage of the open doors. Caroline Curry, 8, came to the mansion with her brother and grandfather. She was a little worn out from attending the inauguration ceremony, luncheon and parade, but the brief tour of The People's House impressed her. "It was huuuuuuge," she said.

Katie Sanders, Times/Herald staff writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 6:30pm]


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