At times it had the feel of an arena concert, a bigwigs’ cocktail hour, a nightclub and an amusement park. But at its core, the event that packed the TD Garden Thursday night was a boisterous celebration of firsts.

Gov. Maura Healey is the first woman elected Massachusetts governor and the first openly lesbian governor in the country. Before their inauguration celebration at the arena, she and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll were sworn in earlier in the day as the state’s first all-female executive duo.

And, as a video broadcast from the Garden’s jumbotron pointed out, Healey’s also the first Bay State governor to have played professional basketball — she was point guard for a team in Austria after graduating law school.

With a theme of “moving the ball forward,” arcade-style mini hoops where revelers could shoot baskets and foam fingers emblazoned with the slogan of “Team up Massachusetts,” the basketball motif ran heavily through the night. Healey and Driscoll showed off matching high-top sneakers — with basketballs on them — as they took the stage.

It all came together for what Driscoll called a “different kind of Garden party.”

“We wanted this place because it’s special,” Driscoll said. “Look up at the ceiling. Those championship banners. They don’t happen without teamwork, and Maura and I are about teamwork.”

Healey’s formal swearing-in ceremony at the State House was a more solemn affair, replete with tradition. In the evening, the celebration was livelier and more modern: instead of top hats and ceremonial staffs, there were rainbow light sticks, balloon arches and photo ops with Blades, the Boston Bruins mascot. But the sense of history was still in the air.

“I watched the inauguration and I started to cry, and I’m such a political battle-ax you would think I wouldn’t be affected by it, but it was both so moving to see it, and to experience it and to be so proud of it that I just couldn’t help myself,” Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts GLBTQ Political Caucus, said from the arena’s concourse.

The event started with performances from Massachusetts acts, including Salem High a cappella group Witch Pitch, the Everett High School marching band, Roxbury hip-hop artist OOMPA and the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus.

Ellice Patterson, the founder and executive artistic director of Abilities Dance Boston, performed a dance that also featured audio descriptions describing the movement for blind and low-vision audiences.

“It was great that the incoming woman leadership team is really thinking about intersectional representation in various ways, and I'm glad that disability could be included in that,” she told GBH News.

Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy, former WNBA player and Olympian Sue Bird and former U.S. women’s soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe all wished Healey well in video messages, with tennis champ Billie Jean King describing her as “a leader with the drive to win.”

Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, introduced as Healey’s favorite-ever performer, headlined. Healey said she admires not only the Grammy winner’s singing voice “but also the voice she gives to so many — so many women, young LGBTQ people, so many people who from whatever walk of life, they have felt vulnerable, they have felt marginalized, they have been made to feel less than.”

Carlile welcomed her wife Catherine on stage with her for one song, telling the crowd the two got married in Massachusetts when the federal Defense of Marriage Act was still in place. Healey, when she worked in the state attorney general’s office, led Massachusetts’ challenge against the law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

“We owe a lot of that freedom and that privilege to Gov. Healey, who’s been on the cutting edge of abolishing DOMA long before it was cool,” Carlile said.