Though normally the purview of jubilant Republicans, BT&B was none the less filled with many, many fans of the new president and Obama merchandise was selling at a brisk clip. With multiple ballrooms hosting all brands of country music it was more of a roving concert than anything else. As a pretty big fan of country music, the highlight for me was being stage side for Neil McCoy. Fantastic.
Neil McCoy headlines
Another big surprise was the arrival of Oscar winner and all around mega-star Denzel Washington. With BT&B’s history of honoring America’s soldiers and sailors, Mr. Washington charmed the crowd with equal parts self-deprecating humor and sincere appreciation for the sacrifices of those in the service. For the most part, the crowd was focused more on the fact that Denzel Washington was right THERE!
BT&B is ultimately about Texas and Texan pride was on display everywhere. In particular, Texan black tie pride is something special. For men, dress ranged from classic tuxedos to Wrangler jeans paired with western themed dinner jackets and dress cowboy boots. The only non cowboy I’ve everseen successfully pull off such an outfit was Ralph Lauren. And he wasn’t wearing a Stetson.
I even saw some frock coats, usually paired with a satin string or bolo tie. This look is particularly western and can border on historic reenactment-ish if not done well. It was done very well here.
You can never go wrong pairing your tux with a pair of Lucchese boots
And don’t forget the hats – not everyone had one on, but those who did looked darn sharp. Even the food was good, and if you’ve ever been to an inaugural ball you know that’s pretty unusual. Normally, “food” consists of pretzels in a nice bowl.
Another highlight for me was getting a photo with a few of the Kilgore College Rangerettes. These young ladies are world famous and absolutely charming. Read more about the Rangerettes here.
Click here to read the Washington Post’s coverage of the Black Tie & Boots Ball.