Juneau’s Inaugural Gala for Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott is Saturday night. This is the second of eight events going on around the state organized by the Alaska Inaugural Ball Committee.
Festivities start at 8 p.m. with a no-host bar and live music at Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. There will be a dessert bar at 10 p.m. The gala ends at midnight, with an after-party at the JACC until 2 in the morning.
Coordinator Samantha Weinstein says attendees shouldn’t expect any big speeches. The event is for Juneau residents and visitors to engage with the new governor and lieutenant governor. She says Walker and Mallott will be escorted into the ball around 8:30 by the Yees Ku Oo dance group.
“And we may let them say a few words before the dance performance commences, but we really want the night to be about mingling, so that’s what the night’s about,” Weinstein says.
And attendees don’t need to stress about a dress code.
“It’s Alaska formal. You don’t have to go out and rent a tux. If you don’t want to buy a new dress, don’t worry about it. Just show up and have fun,” Weinstein says.
Of 610 total tickets for Juneau’s Inaugural Gala, $75 tickets for reserved table seating sold out early this week, but people can still purchase $35 general admission tickets. All attendees will receive commemorative pins. Those sitting at tables will take home Rie Muñoz prints.
Weinstein says the budget for Juneau’s gala is less than $35,000. Ticket sales go toward that; the difference is made up by donations and sponsorships. Any leftover money will go to local nonprofits. A dozen volunteers have organized the ball; about 60 more will be helping this weekend.
Downtown Juneau will have free parking Saturday night. Two buses for the ball are leaving from the Nugget Mall around 7:45 and 8:30, and will return 10:30 and midnight.