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The Meridian Ball: Champagne, bonbons, dancing, no speeches

This doesn't usually happen at parties around here. (Joyce Boghosian for Meridian International Center)

Arianna Brown and her mother Gail Huff. (Neshan Naltchayan for Meridian International Center)

The Meridian Ball! Somehow it has become the Platonic ideal of a D.C. black-tie gala. No drafty ballrooms, no speeches. Just beautiful people swanning around under starlight, chomping on bonbons, clinking champagne. Old, young; head wraps, tiaras; clans that rarely mix -- the media-political complex, suburban gentry, the ambassadors who host pre-ball dinners. For your $400 base-price ticket (benefiting international exchange programs), it's like the party in a movie about rich people, except no one gets garroted by a spy.

Queen Noor (Joyce Boghosian)

Some credit the addition in recent years of a DJ (they'd always had a swing band) for making the ball hipper -- but Friday night, there were many plus-60s whooping on the dance floor for an Usher tune. (Also rocking out: Michael Chertoff, Rep. Joe Crowley).

Notably absent: Usual attendees Adrian and Michelle Fenty (an honorary benefactor), who sent their regrets; and Sen. Scott Brown, who had been expected to make a rare society appearance. His wife, Gail Huff, a co-chair, told us he was stuck in Boston and "trying to make it." Since it was 10 p.m. by that time, we didn't hold our breath.

Rob Marshall and U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Mona Locke. (Neshan Naltchayan)

By The Reliable Source  | October 4, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
Categories:  Parties  
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