Brent Littlefield, Gov.-elect Paul LePage’s inauguration director and senior political adviser, told reporters Thursday that LePage is planning a shorter, cheaper inauguration that will be more interesting than past inaugurals.

“We’re not going to have poems being read or choral singing,” said Littlefield. “We’ll try to make the ceremony a little more interesting. The governor-elect is a fun guy to hang out with.”

Republican LePage is breaking with tradition by holding his inauguration at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, by invitation only at the Augusta Civic Center. Past inaugurations in recent Maine history have been held in the evening. Littlefield said the administration already has heard from more than 4,000 people who plan to attend.

“Gov.-elect LePage was adamant that everything be held in one day,” said Littlefield. “He wants to go to work.”

LePage also will host a reception, not an inaugural ball, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 at the Civic Center. Littlefield said LePage did not think it was appropriate to host a fancy ball at this time with the Maine economy in the doldrums.

At the reception, there will be a cash bar, food, music, some donated lobsters, but “no dance floor and no strobe lights,” Littlefield said.

LePage and his wife, Ann, will greet guests in a receiving line at the evening reception.

The entire inauguration ceremony is a joint session of the 125th Maine Legislature that moves from the Statehouse to the Civic Center, said Littlefield. The presiding officer is Senate President Kevin Raye, who will swear LePage into office.

The Legislature will convene at 9 a.m. Jan. 5, and a committee will form and cross Capitol Street to the Blaine House to inform LePage that he has been elected governor.

Also gathered at the Blaine House will be outgoing Democratic Gov. John E. Baldacci and former Maine governors who have been invited for coffee and to attend the inauguration.

“It will be nostalgic for them,” said Littlefield.

The five children LePage and his wife have between them will attend the inauguration, including Devon Raymond from Jamaica, whom they took into their home as a teenager and who is earning a master’s degree.

As people enter the Civic Center they will encounter singers from Maine and messages hung throughout the building, Littlefield said.

The 195th Maine Army National Guard Band, which includes several soldiers back from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, will play pieces at the inauguration.

Littlefield said LePage will recognize those men and women still serving overseas and point out a row of empty chairs onstage that will symbolize their absence.

Maine Native American tribal representatives also will be recognized, as will foreign dignitaries from Canada, France, England and possibly other nations.

Bruce Myrick, one of two “adoptive fathers” who helped raise LePage when he was a boy and left home in Lewiston, will speak to the crowd.

The Steiner Singers from the University of Maine will also perform.

Littlefield said LePage will have a written speech, but will speak without a teleprompter. Littlefield said he thinks the only time LePage previously spoke from a written speech was at the 2010 state Republican Convention and that he is more comfortable speaking off the cuff.

“I don’t think you will hear any major policy pronouncements in the speech,” said Littlefield. “We intend to keep the speech shorter than what you have seen in the past. He will talk about the broad themes of economic growth and regulatory reform.”

Littlefield said he is certain LePage’s inaugural will end up costing  less than recent inaugural ceremonies for Maine governors.