Possibly the coolest thing about Idaho’s traditional Inaugural Ball, which is coming up on Saturday at 7 p.m., is that it really is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for everyone – even for legislators and their spouses who will be participating in the formal processional led by the new governor and first lady down through the rotunda of the Capitol. Formal dress is optional – but, of course, oh, so appropriate. Doors open at 7, and the “Grand March” starts at 8. All the money from the ticket sales goes to the Inaugural Ball Fund, a non-partisan fund that puts these things on when a new governor is elected. The 25th Army Band will play, and a photographer will be on hand for those who want to purchase photos to remember the evening. Tickets can be purchased online or in the state Capitol, first floor, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling the Coeur d’Alene or Idaho Falls offices of the governor (that’s 292-2521 in CdA, 557-2500 ext. 3760 in I.F.).
The ball follows the public swearing-in of new Gov. Butch Otter on Friday at noon on the steps of the Capitol, a free event. Other planned inaugural events include a country-western concert at the Morrison Center on Friday night ($35 tickets) and a “Black Tie and Boots Ball” at BSU organized by the Idaho Republican Party later on Saturday evening. The word is that when country star Josh Turner performs on Friday night, a certain cowboy governor might be invited up on stage to croon along.