Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Inaugural Ball

On Monday evening I attended the South Carolina State Society Inaugural Ball* at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. It was an amazing event. Since the museum is an incredible venue all by itself, the decorations were simple but elegant and truly transformed the museum space into a ballroom. The food was delicious. The open bar gave those in need a little boost of courage to hop out onto the dance floor, where many spent the evening dancing to the tunes of a Top 40’s style (top 40’s of the past couple of decades, really) band from Orangeburg, SC.

The people made the ball a truly magical experience. I attended the ball on my own, so I was planning on taking my time to wander around and hopefully run into some familiar faces. I hadn’t even dropped my coat off at the coat check before I found some friends from the University of South Carolina DC Alumni group.

From old volleyball friends to those who had lived in my residence hall, I saw my share of former classmates and USC alumni. Even complete strangers whom I shared a table with to eat a snack (milk chocolate covered strawberries) or sat on a bench with to give my feet a rest** were incredibly friendly. The atmosphere of togetherness was wonderful. Conversation easily flowed as we discovered how others were connected to South Carolina - the common thread that tied young and old together.

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures to share yet (I used a disposable camera), but I’ll post some of the lighting design, decorations and crowd as soon as I have them. If you’re ever in town for an inauguration, definitely check out your state’s society and see if you can attend their ball. It’s an experience of a lifetime.

*Unlike the official inaugural balls, the president was not in attendance. This meant that we didn’t have to deal with the increased security or huge crowds typical of the official balls.

**All it took was a little handshake to get me talking about health with one incredible geriatric nurse.

No comments:

Post a Comment