Juneau Democrats host Obama Inaugural Ball

Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Saturday, Juneau Democrats will host an inaugural ball in honor of the swearing-in of President Barack Obama.

"We felt the need to do something to celebrate this historic event," said Juneau Democrats chairwoman Kim Metcalfe. "We thought a dance fashioned after the inaugural balls they have in Washington, D.C., would be a fun way to do it."

The evening will kick off with a cocktail hour at 7 p.m. at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, with TJ Duffy playing piano.

"TJ is new to Juneau," Metcalfe said of Duffy. "He's a Democrat from Nashville, Tenn., who e-mailed us when he arrived and said he wanted to get involved. ... He has played piano at various functions, including a dinner honoring Al Gore, when he was involved in the Tennessee Democratic party down South."

According to Metcalfe, the jazz band FleetStreet will follow at 8 p.m., providing live music.

"They play good dance music," Metcalfe said. "Their style is a combination of jazz and popular music."

Metcalfe's son, Leo Helmar, and nephew, Luke Metcalfe, who host The Blazer Club Radio Hour on KXLL, will DJ in between and after FleetStreet.

"They're the younger talent," Metcalfe said. "We're hoping that young people turn out for it, too. Basically, we're trying to capture that enthusiasm that people showed during the caucuses in February, when we packed Centennial Hall."

Hors d'oeuvres will be served, and beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $20.

"We planned this event as a people's ball," Metcalfe said, "something everyone can afford."

According to Metcalfe, tickets are selling fast, and only 300 will be sold due to space limitations. The public is encouraged to dress up, but Metcalfe doesn't expect elaborate attire.

"I'm just hoping people will come out, dress up, dance, have a good time and celebrate this historic election," she said. "One big celebration is what we're hoping to have."

Tickets are available at both locations of Hearthside Books as well as the JACC. For more information, call Metcalfe at 586-2113.

• Contact Neighbors editor Kim Andree at 523-2272 or kimberly.andree@juneauempire.com.

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