AUSTIN, Texas – The “Future of Texas” inaugural black tie ball was held in the Austin Convention Center on the eve of the inauguration of Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The inauguration was the first for a new governor in more than 14 years. Breitbart Texas was there to memorialize this glamorous event attended by an estimated 10,000 guests. The Texas Inauguration 2015 motif was used throughout the ballroom and it proclaimed “Even the future is bigger in Texas.” Those who attended the gala were filled with Texas-sized pride.
The Austin Convention center was comfortably and fashionably decorated. The huge area was spatially divided with seating areas, indoor tents, and lighting, and there were two stages – one for the musical entertainment, and one for the honorees and their family and friends. Elegant white overstuffed sofas and chairs were placed beneath tents made of white fabric. Areas were subdivided by red and white large lighted balls and ribbon.
Photos in slide show by Bob Price and Lana Shadwick
Six cash bars and numerous buffet stations fed the stylish attendees. People from all across Texas were there, including state politicians from both parties and their staff. There were numerous Texas Inauguration 2015 displays placed throughout the convention center for taking of photographs.
Photos of the Governor growing up in Texas and at his wedding were shown prior to the arrival of the Governor and the Lt. Governor. There was also a video of the Governor telling his story of perseverance after the accident that left him wheel-chair bound.
Governor Greg Abbott’s entrance on the stage was a mixture of Star Wars and Rock Star entertainment. He was shown silhouetted behind white sheer fabric in his wheelchair and laser lights were used to add the theatric effect. The Governor was flanked by his wife Cecilia and his daughter Audrey, and both had on beautiful floor-length red ball gowns. They entered the stage through a line of white uniformed Texas A&M Ross Volunteer Cadets who formed a canopy for them with their swords.
The newly sworn-in Governor appeared with his family on stage, and as he did at his inauguration earlier that day, he thanked the voters and his volunteers and donors for helping him get elected.
Lieutenant Governor Patrick and his wife Jan, announced that his daughter was going to have their fourth grandchild. He thanked his family for supporting him while running for public office.
After the two addressed the crowd, cannons shot white confetti on the stage and created a joyously festive atmosphere. The celebrants seemed very happy, and Dan Patrick had fun taking the now-expected selfies, and selfies of him with the Governor.
Three musical acts entertained the celebrants during the evening. Nashville-based country music group Lady Antebellum, and country music recording artist Pat Green, provided the crowd with music. Green, a Texas native, played at Abbott’s election night party on November 4th. Green told the crowd that Governor Abbott was a close friend, and he called him an “amazing man.” Soul Track Mind, an Austin-based band, also entertained those at the gala.
The ball served as the grand finale to two days of festivities. The oath of office was taken on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol during what was a beautiful morning. A barbecue was held on the lawn for 17,000 folks following the swearing-in. A parade was held on Congress Avenue, the first inaugural parade since 2003. The ball started that evening at 8 p.m.
The estimated cost for the parade and ball and other inaugural festivities was $4 million. It was raised through donations and ticket sales. Tickets to the ball cost $75.
The Governor shook the hand of everyone who wanted to be photographed with him while he was at the ball. He has done this at every event this writer has observed him at during the last 20 years.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.