Governor-elect Chet Culver will kickoff this weekend’s inauguration-related festivities with a luncheon today in Sioux City. There’s an open house at the Old Capitol in Iowa City this afternoon and a concert tonight in Iowa City, too, before the focus shifts to the capitol city for Friday morning’s inaugural ceremony.

Culver has been Iowa’s Secretary of State for the past eight years and will be sworn in as Iowa’s 41st governor on Friday. Culver says he’s enjoyed traveling the state for the past decade and he “thought it would be a great idea to celebrate…in every part of the state.”

According to Culver, reaction to the outside-of-Des Moines events has been positive. “I really have a desire to try to bring everyone together as governor and create one Iowa and try to break down some of the barriers that we have between rural and urban Iowa, west and east, and Republican and Democrat,” Culver says.

Tonight’s Iowa City concert featuring headliner Al Green is a gift to Culver’s wife. “Al Green is one of her favorites and I thought it would sure be nice to try to make the First Lady happy,” Culver says. Green is a “real legend” according to the governor-elect.