- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Organizers of the Arkansas Inaugural Gala say the event to celebrate the inauguration of the President of the United States has been canceled this year due to low demand for tickets.

The event is hosted by the Arkansas State Society and was scheduled for Jan. 19 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Society president Glen Mahone said planners canceled the event before any tickets, which cost at least $125 each, had been sold. Mahone said the society bases its ticket sale projections off the number of inquiries it gets about the gala.

“You have to go with (the) number of calls that you get, hits on your website, things of that nature,” he said. “We’re not at the numbers that were during the same period four, eight, even 12 years ago.”

The society president said one event can cost $100,000, which is unaffordable if ticket sales are weak. Mahone believes the event will be revived eventually, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2jyX9Ag ) reported.

Arkansans who planned on attending the gala are now making alternative plans. Republican Party of Arkansas spokeswoman Lauren Montgomery said some of the state’s supporters of President-elect Donald Trump are buying tickets for the Texas State Society’s Black Tie and Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball.

Although the at least century-old Arkansas State Society is officially nonpartisan, most of the members have been part of the Democratic party. But regardless of the party in power, the society has always held social events celebrating Arkansans in Washington. Former society board member Garland Gobble said the organization has been struggling in recent years most likely due to the fact that it was primarily a Democratic group.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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