The Washington State Governor’s Inaugural Ball Committee will end a 27-year tradition next year by holding the inaugural ball for the next governor at Saint Martin’s University instead of at the state Capitol.
Past inaugural balls have been lavish affairs with live bands, chocolate fountains, ice sculptures, wall-to-wall hors d’oeuvres and party-goers in formal attire. Tickets for the Jan. 16th ball are $100 each.
The first event to honor a new Governor was held at the Gallagher Hotel in Olympia in 1853, for Isaac Stevens the first territorial governor, according to the inaugural ball web site.
After that, the ball was held at various locations around Olympia but moved to the Capitol campus in 1985.
Dick Parrett, office administrator for the ball committee, said the event is being moved to St. Martin’s, because the event at the Capitol has so many entrances they were having trouble with gate crashers. Also, the statehouse and supreme court building have large numbers of steps, which can prove dangerous in icy weather, he said.
“We feel at St. Martin’s, it’s a more secure location and a safer location,” he said.