Houstonians 'ba-rock' the night away

January 20, 2009 8:48:12 PM PST
Tuesday night in Houston, there were plenty of public celebrations to honor President Barack Obama at a number of galas around town.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

With the music cranked, the energy was infectious at the House of Blues where 1,500 people packed the sold-out event, billed as Houston's biggest inauguration bash.

"This is a day to remember," said reveler Regina Dorfmeister.

At three parties around town, women donned evening gowns and men wore black ties. After a whole day of being glued to inauguration coverage on television, Gabrielle Gunn just needed to get out.

"I felt like it was time to leave the house and do something," said Gunn at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

She and Preston Cherry stood next to a cardboard cutout of President Obama for a photo op. The inaugural ball was not Washington, D.C., but for many it was important to be among others celebrating the day.

"It is an extremely historical event. More importantly, I think we're walking into a new era in this country and I wanted to celebrate that," said Gunn.

Early in the evening, partygoers at the Hotel Derek were waiting to kick up their heels but not without forgetting what brought them here.

"This is history in the making. And it brings tears to my eyes that I am here to see this and I wish my mother was here to see this," said Lydia Moses.

Tuesday was a night for parties, but it was time to get back to work on Wednesday as people told us they realize President Obama has many challenges ahead of him such as the economy and the war, but that it was important to be optimistic and take a moment to celebrate.

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