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Originally published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

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Governor's inaugural ball moving north to Lacey

The next governor's inaugural ball will be held at St. Martin's University in Lacey, marking the first time in nearly three decades that the event won't be in the Capitol rotunda.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The next governor's inaugural ball will be held at St. Martin's University in Lacey, marking the first time in nearly three decades that the event won't be in the Capitol rotunda.

Lisa Cosmillo, a member of the Governor's Inaugural Ball Committee, said Wednesday that the decision to move the venue was to offer better access and parking for the event that draws up to 5,000 people.

The governor's inaugural ball has taken place since 1853. Up until 1985, the ball was held at various locations, including the Olympia Armory and St. Martin's. After that, the party was held at the Capitol.

This year's event will be held Jan. 16 in the Marcus Pavillion and Norman Worthington Conference Center at the university.

No taxpayer money is used to host the event, and the cost, about $250,000, is covered by the $100 ticket price and donations from businesses, Cosmillo said.

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna are vying to replace Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, who did not seek a third term.

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