The Latest: Will Ferrell, David Letterman at state dinner

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the White House state dinner for Nordic leaders:

5:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama's state dinner for the five Nordic countries is bringing out a smattering of stars.

The guest list includes Will Ferrell, who famously parodied past President George W. Bush, and Bellamy Young, first lady on the TV show "Scandal."

David Letterman is expected, as are "Girls" actress Allison Williams and former NBA star and regular Obama golfing buddy Alonzo Mourning.

Singer Janelle Monae is on the list, too. The guests of Nordic background include star chef Marcus Samuelsson.

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5 p.m.

More than 300 guests received coveted invitations to Friday night's White House state dinner honoring the leaders of Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Instead of sitting around circular tables, the guests will be dining at wooden farm tables set with white china, beveled crystal candlesticks and soaring ice vases with white field flowers. The dinner is being held in a tent with a transparent ceiling giving guests a view of the night sky — on a cloudy, drizzly day.

Appetizers included salt-cured tuna along with waffles served American-style with chicken. The main course: braised beef short ribs from Nebraska.

Dessert is an homage to the fishing industry in the form of a blue, glowing, edible fishing boat, displayed with elderberry custard pie, raspberry kringle and gooseberry cookies.