President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration balls will be fewer and much smaller compared to his record-setting inauguration in 2009. In fact, there will be just two official inaugural balls that the president and first lady are anticipated to attend.
Obama has cut the number of inaugural balls lower than any president since Dwight Eisenhower was first sworn into office in 1953.
The Inaugural Ball is for the general public. This ball is expected to draw more than 35,000 people. The Inaugural Ball is being held across all 700,000 square feet of the Washington Convention Center's five exhibit halls, which four years ago held six separate balls
The Commander-In-Chief’s Ball, started by President George W. Bush, is for members of the U.S. military. At the Commander In Chief's Ball, the president and first lady plan to continue the tradition of dancing with members of the military.
Doubling in size from four years ago to about 4,000, it's being held on the third-floor ballroom of the convention hall a mile from the White House. Tickets are free for invitees, including active-duty and reserve troops, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors.
Both official balls will be held throughout the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C.
The unofficial balls are sponsored by state parties or societies, non-profit organizations or other groups. There won't be a presidential visit at the unofficial balls.
- The Virginia Inaugural Ball is sponsored by the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
- The Black Tie & Boots Ball
- The Kentucky Bluegrass Ball
- The North Carolina Society's big party at Nationals Park
Members of the president's staff will get their own chance to celebrate with the president, with a staff ball planned for the day after the inauguration.
Inaugural planners said the cut in the number of balls was to reflect tough economic times and minimize the burden on law enforcement, other security personnel and Washington residents.