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Posted at 8:58 AM ET, 01/20/2011

O'Malley celebrates inaugural with Irish music, beer

By John Wagner

Inauguralball1.JPGAbout 2,500 people streamed to a cavernous military hall in Baltimore that was transformed Wednesday night into the site of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's second inaugural celebration.

Attendees were treated to the governor's preferred beer, Guinness, among other beverage and buffet options, as well as the music of his Celtic rock outfit and another Irish band that O'Malley (D) counts among his favorites.

After some playful hesitation about taking stage, O'Malley's March opened with a cover of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," a song the governor said he was playing for the people of Maryland. (Four years ago, he opened with Bob Dylan's "The Times, They Are A-Changin'" following his first victory over then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R).)

Inauguralball2.JPGThis year's event was billed as a scaled-down version of O'Malley's 2007 "black-tie optional" ball. Guests this time mostly wore business and cocktail attire.

O'Malley, decked out in a suit, later took the stage at the Fifth Regiment Armory building to play one song with the Saw Doctors, who came over from Ireland for his first inaugural celebration as well. The song -- "The Green and Red of Mayo" -- is one the O'Malley band has covered over the years.

Tickets were $75 apiece. Part of the tab was picked up by a wide array of corporate and union sponsors, including AT&T, Comcast, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Pepco, PNC and SEIU 1199.

(Photos by Aaron C. Davis)

By John Wagner  | January 20, 2011; 8:58 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Governor, John Wagner  
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