OLYMPIA — The location of the Inaugural Ball, which has been the subject of much kvetching since it was announced several months ago, has changed. It will be back at the Capitol.
The Capitol has been the traditional location for the inaugural celebration, and the domed Legislative Building even has a large reception room with a dance floor (usually covered with a rug) for the inaugural dance.
A few months ago, however, the Inaugural Ball Committee announced it would hold the ball at the St. Martin's University gymnasium because of concerns over security and traffic control at the Capitol.
Admittedly, parking is not ample, and some streets around the Capitol aren't very wide.
But the announcement generated some biting complaints. A petition to return the ball to the Capitol circulated. One high-ranking legislator said he wouldn't be going out to the because “I already attended a prom, in high school.” Some incoming office-holders, who will be inaugurated that day, also weren't pleased.
The committee held firm — until Friday afternoon, when it announced the ball is being moved back to the Capitol grounds “through a cooperative effort” with Gov. elect Jay Inslee's transition team and the Department of Enterprise Services.
“The logistical concerns that first demanded a move away from the Capitol have been discussed with the relevant players, managed and changes have been made that will help with accessibility and security,” spokeswoman Lisa Cosmillo, the committee spokeswoman, said in a press release. St. Martins “graciouisly released” the committee from its commitment.