GW’s inaugural ball hosts 4,000 despite ticket resales

Media Credit: Keegan Mullen | Hatchet Photographer

About as many students, faculty, staff and alumni attended GW's inaugural ball last week as did four years ago.

About as many tickets were sold for GW’s inaugural ball this past weekend as were for the ball four years ago, a University spokeswoman said this week.

More than 4,000 students, faculty, alumni and their guests dressed to the nines and flocked to the Omni Shoreham Hotel for GW’s seventh inaugural ball Friday. Kurie Fitzgerald, a University spokeswoman, said the number of attendees was “comparable” to that for the ball in 2013, even after some students tried to sell their tickets when U.S. President Donald Trump won November’s election.

“Planning for the event is a multi-month endeavor. The space was booked shortly after the last inaugural ball in 2013, knowing that dozens of balls would be held across the city,” Fitzgerald said.

Students who went to the ball noted the high number of attendees.

Freshman Adrian Hoefer said the event ran smoothly, despite the overwhelming number of guests.

“I thought it was very well-organized, they were able to quickly get everybody in. There were a lot of people in line, but it moved pretty quickly,” Hoefer said, referring to the long line that students waited in for about 15 minutes before entering the hotel.

The night featured several dance rooms, each with a specific genre of music, including Latin, jazz and contemporary, Hoefer added.

“They had some really good live bands there. They had like five different rooms with different types of music so everyone could go where they wanted,” he said.

Andrew Zysk, a senior and member of GW Jazz Band, said he was surprised by the turnout in the jazz room.

“I really liked that room because it was just cool that all these people were there dancing to this music that people usually think is not relevant,” Zysk said.

Zysk said that even with large crowds and some congestion at the entrance, the event still had a fun and upbeat atmosphere.

“I just thought it was crazy, it was thousands of people,” Zysk said. “I think it was kind of a madhouse in general but overall the actual event was really fun for everybody.”

Rahim Karimi, a sophomore and member of GW Raas, performed at the event before spending the rest of the night with his friends. Karimi said he did not expect the entire venue to be filled.

“I was a little shocked at how many rooms and how many different things were going on at the ball,” Karimi said. “I didn’t expect to have the entirety of the hotel’s ballrooms.”

GW College Democrats hosted their own presidentially inspired celebration called “Thanks Obama: Fired Up and Ready to Dance” at 1957 E Street Saturday night.

Levi Debose, the vice president of communications for the CDs, said proceeds from the event were donated to Planned Parenthood.

“We sold over 500 tickets to the event and each ticket cost around $22. All the proceeds went to Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund. Over the past two years, we’ve had around 150 attendees over a 4 to 5 hour span,” Debose said.” “This year there were around 400 attendees over a three-hour span.”

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