Kentucky Plans Its Own DC Inaugural Eve Ball

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The pre-inaugural party scene in Washington, D.C., will include a strong Kentucky theme the night before President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office.

The Bluegrass Ball, a black-tie event on Jan. 19, will include a reception, dancing and music.

Gov. Steve Beshear, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional and state officials are expected to attend the event at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, said Anne-Marie Kelley, chairwoman of the Kentucky Society of Washington, which hosts the ball.

Michael Paley, executive chef at Proof on Main in Louisville, will prepare a menu that includes a number of Kentucky specialties, Kelley told The State Journal newspaper. Other Kentucky elements to be emphasized will likely include bourbon and the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The first Bluegrass Ball was in 1949 to honor Vice President Alben Barkley, a Kentuckian.

Bob Stewart attended the Bluegrass Ball in 1992 prior to President Bill Clinton's inauguration. He said the event is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats alike to enjoy themselves.

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