News & Politics

Patriotic Glitz and Glam at "Ball on the Mall" (Pictures)

Fourth annual event raises $600,000 for National Mall.

Photographs by Ben Droz.

Washingtonians exchanged their derby hats and seersucker for gala-worthy gowns and tuxes to attend the fourth annual “Ball on the Mall” Saturday evening.

The L’Enfant Society couldn’t have ordered a better night for the tented affair. Partygoers spied breathtaking views of the Capitol and Washington Monument under the year’s biggest full moon while the scent of stock, snapdragons, and hydrangea wafted from centerpieces on a faint breeze.

“Let’s make the National Mall the best park in the world,” remarked Chip Akridge, chairman of the Trusts for the National Mall, while VIP guests dined on crab and corn risotto and fork-tender braised beef served by Design Cuisine.

No detail was spared in creating a patriotic atmosphere. Silver stars danced across a ceiling hung with royal swaths of cobalt velvet and a dessert bar boasted blueberry pie pops and star shaped cookies. The theme trickled down to the dress code too; many of the evening’s most impressive gowns came in hues of red, white and blue.

After dinner, the party came alive as DJ Heather switched from spinning Sinatra standards to dance-pop mainstays by the likes of Bon Jovi and Black Eyed Peas for the crowded, white-tiled dance floor. A silent auction boasted such prizes as suite tickets to the upcoming Coldplay concert at the Verizon Center and a career mentoring lunch with the CFO of Disney.

Gift bags heavy with red velvet cupcakes, bottles of Chardonnay, one-day memberships to Capital Bikeshare, and more were passed to guests as a token for the $600,000 raised to support the National Mall that evening.