New York, Maryland, and Delaware shared the stage Sunday night at the Fairmont Hotel, hosting an inaugural ball together for the first time. “We weren’t expecting the same crowds as four years ago,” explained Richard Schrader, director of the New York State Society. It wasn’t hard to see New York’s stake in the hotel’s downstairs rooms, where attendees could nibble on the state’s famous snacks and treats, such as Schrader’s favorite, Antoinette’s sponge chocolates. But a pair of glamorously dressed New Yorkers also got a taste of Maryland’s cream of crab soup. “Cream of what?” we overheard them asking as chefs ladled out samples.
Although Delaware’s main claim to fame is Vice President Joe Biden, hopeful attendees caught no glimpse of him munching treats while scouring the silent auction, which featured signed memorabilia by the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and John Wall of the Washington Wizards. Those who needed some extra entertainment could take a seat in the game room, which featured multiple tables of Trivial Pursuit and “How Well Do You Know Your State” games.
In attendance were Delaware’s governor Jack A. Markell, who crunched popcorn while chatting with guests, and US Cherry Blossom Queen Taylor M. Barfield, decked out in her sash and tiara. As guests descended the stairs, they were greeted by the sounds of a children’s choir. A jazz trio played enthusiastically in the background as the night wore on.