HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Following his swearing-in, Gov. Tom Wolf and a couple thousand supporters celebrated at the Hershey Lodge Tuesday evening, but it was not an inaugural ball.
Wolf made it clear he did not want fancy dancing, just a good party with lots of food and drink and music.
“Tomorrow we have to get to work,” Wolf told the crowd. “We’ve got to actually deliver on that promise. That’s when the hard work really begins. But tonight I want you to celebrate. Have a good time. Really party.”
The first challenge was fighting the crowd to enter the $100 event.
Former Allegheny County Democratic chair Jean Milko is a veteran of these parties.
“It’s fantastic. I had to fight my way into the doors — the many doors. Coming through here I’ve never seen anything like it. The place is jammed,” Milko told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
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There was no black tie rule; although, a few were spotted in fancy attire, and some mascots dropped by like the Pirate Parrot, always eager to pose for the camera, and his nemesis, the Phillies Phanatic.
Everything was Pennsylvania-made with food stations everywhere, hard-to-resist desserts, and even a free cigar for those who would smoke outside.
The Hershey Lodge prepared 5,000 pierogis, 2,000 pounds of shrimp, and 350 pounds of cheese, but when it came to beer the choices were decidedly limited.
Forget the Yeungling beer controversy. The real scandal – there was no Pittsburgh beer.
No one expected Yeungling, but searching the beers one could find nothing brewed west of the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg.
Still, good beer or not, everyone was having fun like taking selfies in a replica of Wolf’s jeep.
“Spend some time with friends — it’s been a really nice event,” added Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus.
UPDATE: Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh tells KDKA that the company donated five varieties of their beer to the Wolf celebration at the Hershey Lodge – and PA Rep. Paul Costa says it made the bar at some point because he enjoyed one.