Ticketholders – most of whom didn’t wear masks – paid up to $1,000 (£731) for a sit down dinner and live performances by Ice and Berlin at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday (December 31). But Trump and the first lady, Melania, made a last minute decision to not attend the annual bash.
That’s according to CNN, which reports that the couple decided to return to Washington early on Wednesday (December 30). No official explanation for Trump’s early departure was given, the publication added, although the president remains consumed with efforts to overturn November’s election results.
Trump’s two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, attended the event, as did his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Various figures from the conservative media were also at the party.
You can see footage from the event below:
New Year’s Eve celebration at Mar-a-Lago during deadly pandemic pic.twitter.com/oICbuJzpH1
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) January 1, 2021
Also according to CNN, there were tables set for 10 people with no social distancing measures in place. Up to 500 tickets were sold for this year’s event held in the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, which has a capacity of 700.
The president’s speech at the party is the event’s usual centrepiece.
In other news, the outgoing president was recently the target of Saturday Night Live’s last ‘Weekend Update’ of 2020. Michale Che and Colin Jost ran through Trump’s “greatest moments in office” from the last four years in a video montage.
Set to the music of Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’, the montage took viewers back to Trump singling out an African American supporter, mocking a disabled journalist, and throwing paper towels out into a crowd of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.