I experienced my first inauguration in 2002 when I first arrived in DC at the age of 23. It was the first inauguration of George W Bush (not the most memorable). We ended up seeing a glimpse of his motorcade during the parade.
In 2009, my experience was COMPLETELY different. It was the inauguration of President Obama and there was truly a different feel in the city–a feeling of hope and excitement. DC was buzzing! There were signs welcoming the Obamas to Washington. We had front row seats to the “We are One” concert, sitting a few feet away from the Obamas and Bidens. By far, the one moment that I will never forget is the shaking of the ground as people began cheering for the newly elected president and his family as the motorcade arrived.
This year, I attended my first inaugural ball. The ball, sponsored by the SC State Society Ball, is one of many state balls hosted during inauguration weekend, and was hosted at the Museum of National History.
So, what were the highlights of this year’s event:
- Enjoying cocktails with the hope diamond. For the first time in years, I could actually see the hope diamond (minus the hundreds of tourists around it). My friends and I enjoyed great conversations and drinks with a view of the priceless piece.
- There was literally an elephant in the room! The famous elephant that stands in the main area of the museum stood tall as Voltage Brothers played all time favorites and guests danced the night away.
- Eating shrimp and grits. The menu was in true Southern form–shrimp and grits, cornbread and pulled barbecue chicken, crab dip, collard greens and mac & cheese.
- Spending time with dear friends. The ball would not have been a memorable night without my friends. We were an international crowd, representing several continents, and we sure knew how to make each other laugh.
Not many people are lucky to experience such an event-one that celebrates the inauguration of a President! And, though this was not one of the official balls, according to the Washington Post, if you want to go to a ball, then go to a State Society Ball.
Will I plan to go to one in 2017? If a woman president is elected then of course!
Did you attend any balls? Which ones?