(Updated) Would you prefer a sit-down dinner, or are you the buffet type?
This year’s gubernatorial Inaugural Ball on January 5 will offer both dining options at the request of Governor-Elect Dan Malloy. In previous years, guests purchased their spots in the room, sipped on drinks, noshed on appetizers and mingled with other guests.
“In the past it was a reception kind of affair,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Conroy, the Inaugural Ball chairman of the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard. “This year he asks that we make it a sit-down dinner.”
The First Company Governor’s Foot Guard hosts the ball every year.
“Governor-Elect Malloy wanted the Inaugural Ball to feel more intimate and give him a chance to enjoy the company of those who choose to come,” said Colleen Flanagan, Malloy’s transition spokesperson. “He’s looking forward to saying hello to friends old and new.”
Dinner in the ballroom of the Connecticut Convention Center sells for $2,250 for a table of 10 people. Guests can choose between chicken and North Atlantic salmon and enjoy an open beer and wine bar.
For about $175, guests can dine buffet-style in the foyer to the ballroom and join the ballroom once dancing begins. The doors between both rooms will remain open so “general admission” buffet guests can watch the pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies.
Lt. Col. Conroy expects 2,000 people to attend and there are only about 10 tables left. As of Dec. 1, all tables have been sold and only general admission tickets are left.
“It’s been very hectic,” he said. “The phones have been ringing, the website is getting a lot of hits. I think people are excited.”
In his almost 40 years of involvement with inaugural balls, he said he likes the change.
“It’s a nice touch,” he said. “I would have liked a bigger venue but it would have taken a real effort to make it look like a ballroom.”
Doors open for the ball at 6 p.m. The First Company Governor’s Foot Guard originally planned to begin ceremonies around 8 p.m., but may change the time to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate the sit-down dinner. Dancing will last until shortly after midnight.
For ticket information, potential guests can call 860-724-3508 or visit www.ctinauguralball.com.