Revelers thrilled to ring in new era at long-awaited celebration

Marshall Martin had been looking forward to Tuesday’s night Barack Obama inauguration party for a long time.

It’s pretty safe to say that the more than 100 people who filled the Mesa Theater to celebrate the swearing-in of the new president felt about the same way.

Martin, like others, said Obama’s election has inspired him more than any other president “since I was old enough to vote,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to a reality-based administration,” said Martin, 61, chatting it up among friends with a drink in hand.

With nary a ball gown or tuxedo in sight, folks on Tuesday seemed thrilled just to revel in being together, welcoming the new president in their best jeans and fleece. A large screen projected CNN’s breaking news and music from a live band rounded out the night.

Revelers arrived armed with potluck dishes, which they spread out buffet-style along a long table.

Ashley Smith and Ken Coles just happened upon the party as they were walking down Main Street. Smith, a senior at Fruita Monument High School, said she appreciated the atmosphere that seemed to be filled with like-minded people.

“I’m surprised at how big the liberal population is,” she said, looking around at folks touting Obama stickers and some in red, white and blue duds.

For Gerry Goodman, frontman of The Goodman Band, Obama’s election was “like Christmas.” The inauguaration then, was like the icing on the cake.

Goodman’s drummer, Darin Elwell, likened the event to the Super Bowl. He watched the festivities that were widely broadcast on television all Tuesday. He couldn’t wait to get out and party a bit himself.

“In my lifetime, I don’t really recall seeing people this hopeful for the future,” he said.


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