Former President Barack Obama had originally planned a lavish birthday bash featuring nearly 700 guests and staff this weekend at his family’s $12 million mansion on Martha’s Vineyard.
But the party plans drew criticism from some, including Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who said “an event like that is not a good idea” with COVID cases on the rise across the country due to the delta variant.
Obama then decided to “significantly” scale back his party to include only family and close friends.
“Due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends. President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” Hannah Hankins, a spokesperson for Obama, said in a statement to NBC News Wednesday.
Rising COVID-19 cases have led former President Barack Obama to scale back a celebration for his 60th birthday on Martha’s Vineyard.
But the party did still go off on Saturday, and there were reports that numerous Hollywood stars and other celebrities attended.
We don’t have the full guest list, but The New York Times reported Jay-Z and Beyoncé were still invited, while others like Democratic political operative David Axelrod, actor Larry David and former late-night talk show hots David Letterman and Conan O’Brien didn’t make the cut.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen were photographed arriving on Martha’s Vineyard, as were Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, the Times reported. Others spotted on the island Saturday included actor Don Cheadle, late-night host Stephen Colbert and Kim Fields from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality show. It is not known if they actually attended the bash, however.
Aerial images of the Obamas’ property showed massive tents and a large dance floor set up outside their summer home.
Drones were not allowed to fly over the area on Saturday due to a flight restriction, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
What went on at the party itself remains mostly a mystery. There were reports of celebrities like Erykah Badu and H.E.R. sharing photos and video from the bash on social media, but those posts have since been deleted.
H.E.R. did post a photo with Barack and Michelle Obama, along with the message “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE COOLEST @barackobama surprise!! I’m grateful to have been able to celebrate with you and your family SAFELY.”