Family visiting D.C. doesn’t let blizzard ruin teen’s big night

The family from Phoenix, Arizona was planning on celebrating a Ukrainian debutante ball in D.C., that is – before the blizzard hit. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The family from Phoenix, Arizona, was planning on celebrating a Ukrainian debutante ball in D.C. — that is, before the blizzard hit. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

Here, Katya is pictured with her escort, Roman Onyshkevych, 17, of Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Here, Katya is pictured with her escort, Roman Onyshkevych, 17, of Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

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The family from Phoenix, Arizona was planning on celebrating a Ukrainian debutante ball in D.C., that is – before the blizzard hit. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Here, Katya is pictured with her escort, Roman Onyshkevych, 17, of Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

WASHINGTON — It was last September that Oksana Komarnyckyj started planning her daughter Katya’s Ukrainian debutante ball.

“It’s a fun coming-out party, just like you have the quinceañera, the bat mitzvahs, the turban ceremonies,” Komarnyckyj explained.

The family from Phoenix, Arizona, had already purchased plane tickets and a dress for Katya, but then, as the big day neared, out came a forecast calling for a lot of snow.

The news didn’t stop the family from packing their bags in sunny Phoenix and hopping a plane to the nation’s capital.

“Hell no; we’re still going to have a party,” Komarnyckyj said.

On Saturday night, the storm raged outside the Marriott Wardman Park in Northwest D.C., but inside, the family donned their formal attire for the ball and gathered at a lounge near the lobby.

Komarnyckyj called for the attention of the room, which included a group of snow-trapped WTOP reporters, and introduced her daughter and her escort, Roman Onyshkevych, 17, of Annapolis, Maryland.

“The blizzard really — it just kind of made everything more exciting,” Onyshkevych said.

After they sipped sparkling cider inside, the group then made a run outside to snap pictures of a memorable event during a historic snowstorm.

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