Monday, January 5, 2009

Kentucky Inaugural Ball - Washington Post pick

For the second time in a row, the Washington Post has picked Kentucky’s Bluegrass Ball, for an Editor’s Pick of the 2009 inaugural balls.
Also named an "Editor’s Pick" by the Washington Post in 2005, The Bluegrass Ball is the first of the quadrennial black-tie celebrations of the presidential inauguration and sets the standard for the 2009 inaugural ball season.

The Ball will start at 6:00 PM on Monday, January 19, 2009 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC and is sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Washington. (The first Bluegrass Ball was held in 1949, when Vice-President Alben W. Barkley was honored by the Society.)

Attending dignitaries include Governor Steven Beshear, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell with the entire Kentucky congressional delegation along with various national celebrities who are from Kentucky. Over 1400 people are expected to attend, with over 75% of the guests coming up from Kentucky.

This year's guest chef is Michael Paley of Proof on Main in Louisville who has created a Kentucky friendly menu. Most of the items on the evening's menu will be shipped up from Kentucky including 350 pounds of Kentucky bison tenderloin, 350 pounds of strip bass and 720 heads of Bibb lettuce.

The lilies in the flower arrangement will be brought up by Sharon Bale, floriculturist and horticulture professor at the University of Kentucky who with 10 volunteers make about 150 centerpieces in about 24 hours.

The Kentucky Distillers Association will feature a "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" with most of the Kentucky distillers having exhibits during the reception. Distillers at the Bluegrass Ball reception include Beam Global Spirits and Wine, Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit Bourbon, Four Roses Bourbon, Maker's Mark and Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Scheduled to call people to dinner will be the Churchill Downs bugler; a Kentucky celebrity will be the Master of ceremonies along with Kentucky entertainment, one of the Kentucky Governor’s favorite band, “Joey and the Cruisers”.
Guests will receive gift bags filled with Kentucky souvenirs and products.

The Kentucky Society of Washington, a not for profit organization, was founded in 1912 with a purpose to promote goodwill, fellowship and amicable relations among Kentuckians in the Nation’s Capital region. The Society is one of the oldest state societies in the nation’s capital.

The society currently has 400 members, both resident and nonresident, and is one of the four (4) largest state societies in Washington.

The public can get information on the event from Anne-Marie Kelley, Chair of the Bluegrass Ball at 202.399.2032 or

Sponsorship information can be obtained from Brandon Kirkham at

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