All the glitz and glam
APIs celebrate Obama’s inauguration in style
Last updated 1-15-09 at 1:48 p.m.
Shoe photos are of members of the Seattle Chinese Women's Club taken during
its holiday party by George Liu.
by Han Bui.
By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
This is the first time in recent history where a president taking office
is creating enormous and dazzling celebrations
around the nation. In fact, Jan. 20 will not just be a day of celebration
for Americans, but also for many people around the world.
So how are Asian Americans celebrating Obama’s inauguration?
Some are planning low-key festivities. Catherine
Yu does not have any defined plans yet.
She’s going to play it
by ear. “Bush’s last day is on the 20th,” she said. “I
want to watch it [at home], but there will be a
lot of parties going on that day,” she said.
However, other Seattleites are celebrating in bigger
ways. Many are putting up the cash for a hefty
plane ticket to D.C., as well as a fancy hotel room.
Many hotels were booked full as early as Nov. 11
for Obama’s inauguration, including the Washington Hotel, where
the Obamas have been taking up residence until
they move into the White House.
Hotels aren’t the only things booked in D.C. Good luck getting
a last minute ticket to Pearl Gala, a gala produced
by Youngberg & Associates,
which has been sold out since mid-November. There
was a lottery the week of Jan. 6 for those on the
waiting list, but that was the very last chance at getting a ticket.
The Pearl Gala
The gala is a black-tie affair for the benefit
of the Asian Pacific American community. The
Pearl Gala will be held at the Mandarin Oriental, a five-star hotel,
on Jan. 19.
To all the jewelry collectors out there, organizers
of the event are offering the Presidential Commemorative
Collection by Diamond Cutters International. Proceeds from the sales
benefit the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program.
Francey Lim Youngberg and Gloria T. Caoile are
co-chairs of the Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala
Team. The morning has a more a serious tone; it
will include a morning conference that will include discussions about
voting results, the political appointment process, and legislative issues.
Then at night, they expect attendees to let their
hair down. The evening gala will begin at 7 p.m.
and end at midnight.
The gala will present various Asian cuisines as
well as an open bar during dinner. After the auctions,
attendees will top off the evening by dancing the
night away to a live band and DJ.
The Aloha Inauguration Ball
Not too far away from the Pearl Gala in Washington,
D.C., is the Aloha Ball. The ball encourages
guests to either come dressed in black-tie attire,
in “aloha” attire,
or a creative combination of both.
The Aloha Ball will feature the music, food,
and culture of Hawaii. Organizers hope the ball
will embrace the spirit of unity that shaped Obama’s core values.
The Aloha Ball will recreate the musical experience
of Obama’s youth in Hawaii during the 1970s. There will be traditional
Hawaiian music performed by Manu Ikaika, along
with music and dancers from the Halau O ‘Aulani and Halau Ho’omau
I ka Wai Ola O Hawai’i.
Brother Ah and the Aloha World Music Ensemble will
perform a fusion of native Hawaiian music and jazz.
The evening will end with a performance by the legendary George Clinton
and his P-Funk All Stars.
The Aloha Ball will be serving a complete Hawaiian
menu of main courses, side dishes, and snacks that
Obama enjoyed while growing up. Fully stocked open
bars will be serving drinks, including tropical drinks. Each person
who purchased a ticket will receive a Hawaiian orchid lei, a wreath
of flowers presented as a symbol of affection, freshly shipped from
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.