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Instead Of Inaugural Gala, Vermont State Society Will Hold Women's March Happy Hour

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The non-partisan Vermont State Society, based in Washington, D.C., has decided to hold a happy hour near the Capitol following Saturday's Women's March on Washington rather than its traditional inaugural gala.

The Washington-based Vermont State Society will not be marking the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump by holding a gala, as it has in the past.

Like other state societies, the non-partisan society held big galas for visiting and ex-pat Vermonters in Washington to mark both Obama inaugurations.

Hundreds attended, dancing to live music and sampling a smorgasbord of Vermont-made products.

But despite months of planning for another gala, after Trump’s victory, the society felt there wouldn’t be much enthusiasm to attend among Vermonters.

“We’re pretty eyes-wide-open to the political leanings of most of our membership and of Vermonters,” says Julia Drost, the society's vice president.

Instead of a gala, the society is hosting a happy hour at a Washington bar near the Capitol.

And instead of holding it the night before the inauguration, as in the past, it will be held following Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. Drost says among Vermonters there seems to be more interest in that event than the inauguration.

“We’ve been hearing all these stories about the busses coming down and a lot of real excitement around the Saturday event,” she says.

Drost says despite the fact the event is timed to coincide with the march, Vermont Trump supporters who plan to attend the inauguration are also welcome at the society’s happy hour.

“I think if this election has taught us anything it’s that we really need to listen to one another,” she says. She quoted the Vermont State Society’s executive director, who said such a mixed gathering “would look a lot like a Vermont Town Meeting.” 

The event will take place Saturday at 3 pm at 201 Bar, 201 Massachusetts Avenue NE. 


Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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