CHARLESTON, W.Va.--Goodbye, party tent.
Formerly a mainstay at the Governor's Mansion during the holiday season, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Tomblin have instead opted to hold this year's Christmas parties in the Culture Center.
That means the mansion will no longer need a party tent and the Tomblins will be able to hold fewer -- albeit larger -- parties.
Governors traditionally have spread their parties over several weekends. This year's larger venue allows the Tomblins to pack all their festivities into two days.
They will host guests from the southern part of the state from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. Northerners will get their chance to hobnob the next night, Saturday, Dec. 7.
The events are invitation-only. Guests also are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local food bank.
Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler-Goodwin said the governor and first lady decided to move the party out of the Governor's Mansion because there wasn't enough room.
"With the amount of people, we'd always have to have a tent in there, and that was extremely costly," she said.
Installing the party tent also destroyed the turf of the mansion's courtyard.