The Illinois State Society held its inaugural gala at the Renaissance Washington Hotel in downtown Washington last night and the only word to describe it was EPIC! It was truly a taste of Illinois, especially for those of us who have never been. With eight different musical groups, multiple levels of open bars, a champagne room, a martini room and even an art room with over 20 artist providing caricature sketches, the party went on strong into the wee hours of the early morning.
The evening started with a toast to the First Lady and a performance by the Academic Village People. Then guests were taken on a tour of Illinois starting with Interstate 80 down to the State Fair for popcorn, cotton candy, roasted nuts and pretzels. Servers manning each station were dressed in themed outfits to reflect each food station.
We then headed to the Country Saloon for some good country music, a little line dancing but not before grabbing a corn dog from the vendor in front of the door. Country music band Southern Winds entertained us while cut a rug on the dance floor.
For our next destination on the road trip, we hopped on Route 66, where we dug into a Chicago deep dish pizza from Uno’s Pizza, some of us grabbed peanuts, soft pretzels and diner deserts. For those with a sweet tooth, Heartland Diner was on hand to serve up yummy root beer floats. As always, to commemorate our trip through Illinois, we got photos taken by Reflections Photography. SMILE!!!
Jessica in a Diane von Furstenberg dress with Balenciaga heels, Carlis in BCBG and Kate in a blue velvet DEIVIE dress.
Bang Bang!!!! The fun didn’t stop there. We headed back on Interstate 80 to the Hall of Heroes then to the City of Chicago Ballroom, where we danced to the Radio King Orchestra under the clock at Marshall Field’s with some “PinUp Girls.” Blues Brother’s sanctioned band, Sweet Home Chicago got our hips shaking and jiving.
Martini’s anyone? We continued to Governors’ Hall for some amazing Italian food and then into the Motown/Blues Ballroom we went for more dancing with Chicago’s own Special 20s and Midnight Movers. We love the troops, so we stopped to write cute notes to our troops serving overseas in the Armed Forces Hall.
Our night ended in the University Ballroom where we got a taste of Illinois’ highly accredited educational institutions. Let’s not forget about the amazing professional sports teams that call Illinois home. Hello Bulls, Cubs and White Sox.
Our night ended with some aggressive two step and go-go dancing with tunes by Gonzo’s Nose and Back-to-Zero. Now how about that for a trip to Illinois? We had so much fun, we’ve already booked flights to Chicago in March for St. Patrick’s Day, when the city dyes its entire river green. Hello!
Special thanks to Carlis from Spicy Candy DC for some of the shots.