More details about the sold-out event on Jan. 19 come from the Springfield (Ill.) Journal- Register:
Corn dogs, lemon shakeups and Chicago-style pizza all will be ready for the cast of thousands who will attend the Illinois Inaugural Gala set for Washington, D.C., the night before Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
“You’re going to enjoy all the sights and sounds and tastes of Illinois, from upstate all the way down to the southern tip and everywhere in between,” Suzanne New, executive chairwoman of the event, said this week.
The gala reception, dinner and ball is a giant party being thrown at the Renaissance Washington by the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., an organization founded in 1854 in part “to foster and encourage social, friendly, and fraternal spirit among the Illinoisans of the National Capitol area,” according to its Web site […]
Those attending the ball alone will be able to visit some Illinois-themed venues, such as the Illinois Hall of Heroes, the Springfield Disco and Route 66, as well as the State Fair.
The Route 66 theme and corn dogs made me think that perhaps the organizers were flying in Sue Waldmire and her recipe from the Cozy Dog Drive-In on Route 66 in Springfield. But a quick phone call to Waldmire confirmed that wasn’t the case. Too bad.
It’s not known whether Obama and his family will attend the event.
Incidentally, the president of the nonpolitical society is U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, a Republican from Collinsville. But Shimkus is throwing his partisanship aside for the big bash.
“Are you kidding me?” Shimkus said when asked about Obama being from a different party. “It’s a great opportunity. … I’m just so lucky that I was asked and I agreed to serve during this time of great historical significance.”