Inaugural gala for Melania Trump to have strong Slovenian note
Washington, 17 January - The Slovenian Embassy and Sister Cities International will host an Inaugural Gala dedicated to Melania Trump, the future First Lady, in Washington this evening. The event will have a strong Slovenian note, featuring traditional Slovenian food and drinks, and accordion music.
The gala at the headquarters of the Organization of American States not far from the White House will feature a video address by the mayor of Melania's home town Sevnica.
The accordion music will be played by Frank and Darryl Valencic, two brothers from the Pittsburgh area who were honoured at the annual Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame awards show last November, while the musical programme will also include performances of the United States Marine Chamber Orchestra and the Mood Swings band.
A film about Slovenia will be screened and the guests will have the opportunity to taste some of Slovenia's traditional dishes such as the Kranjska klobasa sausage and potica, a dough roll with walnut filling, as well as Slovenian wine and vodka.
Slovenian Ambassador to the US Božo Cerar will deliver an address and also attend the inauguration of the new US president and the official accompanying events on Friday, as ambassadors are the only foreign guests that are allowed to attend the inaugural ceremonies.
Slovenia has been officially included in the wider inaugural ceremonies because it is the homeland of the future First Lady.
To reduce the financial burden of organising the gala for Melania, the Slovenian Embassy teamed up with Sister Cities International, an organisation set up by former US President Dwight Eisenhower which has over 2,000 partnerships in some 150 countries around the world.
The event will be attended by no more than 400 guests, including ambassadors, politicians and representatives of various organisations as well as Americans of Slovenian stock.