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Obama celebrates 60th birthday with friends, celebrities on Martha’s Vineyard

Then-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama departed the White House for a trip to Martha's Vineyard on Aug. 6, 2016.Al Drago/NYT

A lavish party for former president Barack Obama on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend was downsized due to concerns about the coronavirus, but it didn’t stop the former first family from enjoying a night of celebrating with friends and A-list celebrities at the 60th birthday bash.

The guest list included Gayle King, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Steven Spielberg, according to People magazine. The party was held outdoors under a giant white tent set up outside the Obamas’ $12 million mansion.

A photo posted on Instagram by the singer H.E.R. showed Barack and Michelle Obama smiling with the performer and other partygoers.


The original guest list reportedly included 475 attendees, according to the New York Times, but some were ultimately asked not to come.

“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,” Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for the Obamas, said in a statement last week. “President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”

Hankins said then that the event was planned “months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with COVID safeguards in place.”

Obama’s staff did not confirm the initial number of attendees, nor the number of guests who remained on the invite list after it was cut down.

Black face masks inscribed with a special “44 x 60″ monogram commemorating the 44th president’s milestone birthday were distributed to party guests, though many did not wear them, according to People magazine.

Cocktail napkins also included the golden “44 x 60″ monogram, as seen in a photo posted to Instagram by TJ Chapman, manager for the musician Trap Beckham, both of whom attended the party.


Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com.