The presidential inauguration is approaching fast.
On Monday, January 21, President Obama and his first lady will share a dance celebrating his second inauguration, but the events will be scaled down from 2009 when there were 10 official presidential balls.
This time there will only be two, the Commander in Chief’s Ball for members of the military and the Inaugural Ball, which will fill the Washington Convention Center. If you want to go, a select number of tickets will be made available for sale to people who register online.
In a statement, the president of the Presidential Inaugural Committee says, “By holding a smaller number of inaugural balls in a centralized location, we are continuing a more than 200-year-old tradition while reducing the burden on local law enforcement and security personnel, as well on our D.C. residents. “
It’s not just the parties that will be smaller; city officials expect 600,000 to 800,000 visitors for the inauguration, much less than the estimated 1.8 million who packed the National Mall on a frigid January day in 2009.
Then, hotels sold out months in advance, but this time tourism officials say rooms are still available, which means if you get a ticket to the ball you can probably turn it into a night out on the town.
The tickets that are made available to the public are sold for $60 and are limited two per person. They’ll be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.