TODAY'S PAPER
65° Good Morning
65° Good Morning
NewsNation

The scoop on the 10 official inaugural balls

INAUGURAL PARTIES

Ten official inaugural balls will be held on the evening of Jan. 20. Planned and overseen by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, they are the only ones that the Obamas and Bidens are guaranteed to attend.

NEIGHBORHOOD

INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Center

In keeping with his commitment to make this inaugural celebration open and accessible to all Americans, Barack Obama will host the first-ever "Neighborhood" ball, with tickets available free or at an affordable price.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S

INAUGURAL BALL

National Building Museum

This honors the country's active duty and reserve military and isn't open to the general public.

YOUTH INAUGURAL BALL - FOR AGES 18-35

Washington Hilton

Tickets $75

OBAMA HOME STATES

INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Ctr. Illinois and Hawaii invited guests.

BIDEN HOME STATES

INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Center

Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests.

EASTERN INAUGURAL BALL

Union Station

For Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands invited guests.

MID-ATLANTIC

INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Center For Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., New York,

New Jersey and West Virginia invited guests.

MIDWEST INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Center

For Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Missouri invited guests.

SOUTHERN INAUGURAL BALL

National Guard Armory

For Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas invited guests.

WESTERN INAUGURAL BALL

Washington Convention Center

For Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Guam / American Samoa and invited guests.

STANDOUTS

Historically, the "official" balls have been crowded events in unglamorous locales featuring forgettable food and long bathroom lines. The real celebratory heat is generated by the scores of unofficial events taking place all over Washington during the four-day

inaugural period. Among the most intriguing:

GREEN INAUGURAL BALL

A number of events are touting themselves as "green" this year, but Saturday's Green Inaugural Ball claimed to be "D.C.'s most environmentally friendly." About 1,000 people were expected to gather at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium to hear Wyclef Jean perform.

"We looked at every minute detail," Jenna Mack, co-producer of the event, said: undyed votive candles, unscented soy wax candles, all chauffeuring done with GEM electric cars and kitchen equipment powered by biodiesel fuel. The food is all organic, the beverages natural, organic or local. "The coolest thing," she said, "is that the VIP area will serve water sucked out of the air by an on-site atmospheric water generator."

LINCOLN 2.0 INAUGURAL BALL

If there's a second-most valuable player in 2009's inaugural ceremonies, it's Abraham Lincoln, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated Feb. 12. According to Victoria Isley, senior vice president at Destination DC, the city's convention and tourism bureau, "throughout the election process, there have been so many connections made between Lincoln and Obama, we wanted to translate it into an inaugural party." The Lincoln 2.0 Inaugural Ball was held last night at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Guests were encouraged to dress up in Victorian attire.

HIP-HOP INAUGURAL BALL

Black tie and baggy pants is what Benjamin Chavis is expecting at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts tonight. Chavis, 60, is the African-American civil rights leader who in 2001 cofounded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network with rap impresario Russell Simmons. He credits the organization's get-out-the-vote efforts with mobilizing young people all over the country and "when on November 4 it became clear that the youth vote helped give Obama the victory in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Florida, we decided right then that we had to be a part of the celebration." DJ D-Nice was expected to spin music all night and Get-Out-the-Vote awards were expected to be given to LL Cool J, T.I., Young Jeezy, MC Lyte and Bow Wow - all of whom, Chavis said, "will be free to grab the mic if they want to."

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News Photos and Videos