FARMINGTON — The celebration started before Gov.-elect Janet Mills arrived late Wednesday afternoon in her hometown.

More than 100 people gathered inside and outside The Homestead Kitchen, Bar and Bakery on Broadway as they waited to congratulate Mills on becoming the first woman to be elected governor in the state. The state’s attorney general will begin her gubernatorial duties on Jan. 2.

“I need to be part of history,” Lisa Laflin, of New Vineyard, said as she waited outside for Mills.

Inside the restaurant, students from Mt. Blue High School played toe-tapping fiddle music along with teacher Steve Muise.

The excitement was evident as people came and hugged each other in the bipartisan crowd.

The lights from camera and cellphone flashes announced her arrival outside and continued inside with cellphones being held over heads to capture the moment. She was greeted by applause and vocal approval.

“Thank you all for being here,” Mills said, adding that she was happy to be back in her hometown, “the best town in the state.”

“Hello friends and neighbors, I love you,” she said.

Mills said she will bring back values to the Blaine House that include not tolerating bullies, saying what you mean and caring about each other.

“I’m thrilled to be back in town. Let’s party,” she said.

Prior to Mills’ arrival, Jeff Barnum, of New Vineyard, who was sitting at the bar, said he couldn’t be more pleased that she ran and won.

He believes Mills will bring positive change to the state and the people.

“She was definitely the right person for the job,” Barnum said.

“She is one of the most generous people I know,” Mills’ neighbor Margaret Gould Wescott said.

Mills was one of the founders of the Maine Women’s Lobby, Wescott said.

“She was on the forefront of the women’s rights movement in the whole country,” Wescott said. “It’s a big day for this state.”

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