DENVER (CBS4) – After Jared Polis was inaugurated as the 43rd Governor of Colorado on Tuesday, thousands celebrated the historic day with the “Blue Sneaker Ball” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Guests danced the night away among the dinosaur bones to performances by LGBTQ activist Cyndi Lauper, singer Melissa Etheridge, and Colorado R&B band Nathaniel Rateliffe & the Night Sweats.

(credit: CBS)

The name of the ball comes from the blue sneakers that Polis donned along with his business suits while working on his campaign. He gave a brief speech before the party started and first Gentleman Marion Reis, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Lt. Governor Diane Primavera stood alongside him.

(credit: CBS)

“It doesn’t matter whether you live in Sterling, or Trinidad, or Grand Junction. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your faith, tradition, or if you have no faith at all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a worker, or a company owner, or a farmhand, or a rancher. We want you to be able to live your Colorado dream,” said Polis during his speech at the ball.

The vibrant inaugural ball was far from stuffy, and many guests chose to leave their dress shoes at home in favor of their sneakers. Some of the 2,000 attendants dressed in head-to-toe blue in honor of celebrating Colorado’s government moving from a purple state to more of a blue state.

(credit: CBS)

“The blue sneakers thing, I mean that says a lot about what his personality is because, like, the seriousness mixed with the fun. It adds just so much.” said Ivadell Marie, who took her blue shoes to a whole other level.

(credit: CBS)

Guests raved about the performance by musical artist Cyndi Lauper who has been very vocal in her support for Colorado’s first openly gay governor. She had voiced her excitement about the Colorado governor by tweeting during the inaugural ceremony and highlighted looking forward to getting to perform at the inaugural ball later that night.

“I am watching a monumental moment in Colorado. Gov. Elect Jared Polis is being sworn in as the first openly gay governor of Colorado. I am so proud to be performing at the party this evening. Here’s to a great new year! Xx” she wrote.

(credit: CBS)

She opened the inaugural ball and was followed by performances by Rateliffe and Etheridge that left celebrators dancing late into the evening. The Blue Sneakers ball was a big hit, but Polis tweeted that he was getting right to work the next day.


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