Having a ball

January 19th, 2009
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Everyone traded in their parkas and down jackets for tuxedos and evening gowns Sunday night as party people made the rounds to the first set of inaugural balls.

Weather cooperated, too, as snow flurries that were forecast for the evening never came. Temperatures were fairly mild — in the 20s and 30s anyway — considering the mercury had dipped into the teens the past few days.

The Star-Bulletin crew headed to a pair of Hawaii-themed events: the Hawaii for Obama Inaugural Gala at the Hay Adams Hotel; and the Aloha Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Among those spotted at the Hay Adams bash was a host of Hawaii politicos: U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz, Obama Hawaii Campaign Coordinator Andy Winer, organizer A.J. Halagao, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case and probably a ton more that showed up after we left.

Actress Kelly Hu and Lisa Ling, television journalist and former co-anchor of The View, also showed up.
Media were asked to limit their time at the ball to an hour. We honored the request, but not before snapping a few pics. Check back tomorrow for a video of last night’s events.

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^^ Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner John Cruz entertains the crowd inside the tented rooftop terrace at the Hay Adams Hotel.

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^^ Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz meets with guests.

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^^ Beneath the tent (with heaters blowing to make it feel like midday on the Ewa Plain).

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^^ U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, left, speaks with Waimanalo resident Charslene Kanoa.

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^^ U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, left, poses with John Cruz.

More to come from Tuesday’s inaugural balls, including the Obama Home States Ball for Illinois and Hawaii, that is expected to be attended by POTUS himself.

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