One balls stands out as a party with a real purpose. The Green Inaugural Ball, which brings together congressional and business leaders interested in preservation of the environment for future generations.
Sports stars, Hollywood notables, and stellar musicians mingled with the crowd and performed at one of the area’s most popular venues, the Newseum, which offered breath-taking views of the Capitol as a ball backdrop.
Primary sponsor, The National Wildlife Federation delighted the audience with a showing of the 1956 public service announcement featuring Walt Disney. Even Walmart contributed. Other less surprising sponsors included the ecoAmerica, Solar Energy Industries Association, the Climate Reality Project, Greenspeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Seventh Generation.
Political attendees included Energy Secretary Steven Chu, outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who is running in a special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Markey ignited the crowd with his plans to advance talks of climate change and clean energy.
Sensational music director Onreé Gill ensured that all the performances were seamless. Former Blacked Eyed Peas member and seven-time Grammy winner, Will.i.am roused the crowd with his signature song, “I Gotta Feeling.” Renowned New Orleans jazz musician Trombone Shorty and soul singer Mayer Hawthorne performed their dazzling sets to adoring, enthusiastic fans, as did Nicholas David of NBC’s "The Voice." Percussionist and singer Sheila E. absolutely rocked the ball in a commanding performance reflecting her hits, bringing a few brave audience members on stage to dance and giving a pair of her drumsticks to a child girl she invited to accompany her on a song.
For the stalwart, ready for a green revolution, this was the official ball. Good food, great music, nothing wasted, and a critical mission uplifted: Save the earth for all inhabitants, two legs, four legs, skin, feather or fur.