BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - New Governor John Bel Edwards joked that all 650,000 voters who supported him filled the Celtic Movie Studio stage for his inaugural ball Monday night. Looking around at the sea of sequins and tuxedos, it certainly seemed possible.
"I told you today we've got plenty of hard work to do, but we're going to do that starting tomorrow," Edwards told the crowd. "Tonight, tonight we're going to have a good time."
At the end of a day full of ceremony and history, the inaugural ball represented the final moments the new administration is nothing but pure potential, as bright as the decorations streaming from the ceiling. For the dignitaries present, that was something to take in and savor.
The real works begins Tuesday, and challenges that will test the new leadership.
"It was an absolutely gorgeous day and a great day for Louisiana," said Commission of Administration Jay Dardenne. "I think people are trying to recognize that we need to come together, that it's not about partisan politics, it's about addressing Louisiana's problems and focusing on the future and I hope that's what's going to happen."
Every political leader who was present spoke of early meetings Tuesday, but at the ball there were no talks of budgets or healthcare, just dancing and hope that Monday night's goodwill carries through the next four hard years ahead.
"You enjoy the night and you go to work tomorrow and reality sets in. Tomorrow afternoon I have a meeting with Jay Dardenne and the team on the budget cuts that we will be receiving," said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
"Tomorrow we can talk about the good time we had, roll up our sleeves and get to work," said Edwards.