Presidential Inauguration 2013: Official and Unofficial Balls

After a record-setting Inauguration in 2009, President Obama’s second time around later this month is expected to be a bit smaller affair. In fact, there will be just two official inaugural balls that the president and first lady are anticipated to attend.

The Commander-In-Chief’s Ball, started by President George W. Bush, is for members of the U.S. military. The Inaugural Ball is for the general public.

Both events will be held throughout the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C.  The public can request tickets for the Inaugural Ball at the event’s official site, however the ticketing period for both events has closed.  

But, if you still want to get dressed up and dance the night away, there are a number of “unofficial” Inaugural Balls—ones that are sponsored by state parties or societies, non-profit organizations or other groups. While there won’t be a presidential visit, they can be a lot of fun.

The Virginia Inaugural Ball is sponsored by the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Arlington County Democratic Committee. It will from 7 – 11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel. Tickets are $250 per person. Ticket information for the Virginia Inaugural Ball is available here.

And although Obama will attend the lowest number of official inaugural balls since Dwight Eisenhower, there’s no shortage of State Society Inaugural Balls and other celebrations, from the Black Tie & Boots Ball to the Kentucky Bluegrass Ball to the North Carolina Society’s big party at Nationals Park.


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