Frank Scott Jr.,
who’ll take office as Little Rock mayor Jan. 1, has announced a schedule of events including a prayer service and party at Robinson Center.

The events of Jan. 1:

• City of Little Rock Swearing-In Ceremony
Robinson Center
Performance Hall (This is a change from original venue to accommodate an expected large crowd.)
2:00 p.m.

• City of Little Rock Reception
Doubletree Hotel
Grand Ballroom
(Immediately following swearing-in)

• Unite Little Rock Ecumenical Prayer Service
Greater Second Baptist Church
5615 Geyer Springs Road
5:00 p.m.

• Unite Little Rock The People’s Party
Robinson Center
William Grant Still Ballroom
7:00-9:00 p.m.

A news release said the city of Little Rock will host the reception, which is for the mayor and other members of the City Board sworn in for new terms on Jan. 1.

Unite Little Rock, a group formed for the occasion, will hold the ecumenical service and party at Robinson Center and pay necessary expenses with contributions. I’m checking to see if they’ll disclose contributors, as is done with presidential and gubernatorial inaugurals.

All events are free and open to the public, but the news release urged those planning to attend to register at this website. “Holiday festive attire” is suggested for the closing party. Attendees also are encouraged to bring canned goods or nonpersishable items to contribute to the Arkansas Food Bank.

Scott led a field of five in the first election and defeated Baker Kurrus in a runoff to succeed retiring Mayor Mark Stodola. He’s the first popularly elected black mayor of the city, though two other black people have held the title of mayor. Charles Bussey served a year as mayor by an election by other members of the City Board from November 1981 to December 1982. Lottie Shackelford also served as mayor by city board election, from January 1987 to December 1988. A change in government form instituted direct election of a full-time  mayor a little more than 11 years ago. (I indicated incorrectly originally that the change came with Stodola’s initial election 12 years ago in November 2006. The job was part-time at the time of his first election, but a change to a stronger, full-time mayor was approved by voters in August 2007.)