As America gears up to inaugurate President Obama into a second term as President of the United States, Washington, D.C., gears up to accommodate the thousands who will flock to our nation's capital to welcome the president and his family to another four years in the White House. Plans have been made to ensure that this year's inauguration, dubbed "Faith in America's Future," is a safe one. Here are some helpful hints and a preview of some of the activities scheduled around the city to help you execute your inaugural weekend without a hitch.
Saturday, January 19
National Day of Service
To commemorate those who have served, a public event will be held on the National Mall from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many special guests will be speaking, including Honorary Chair Chelsea Clinton, Iraq war veteran and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, PIC Co-Chair Eva Longoria, and the Washington Children's Choir. The weatherman is calling for no rain and sunny skies, but with temps in the lower 50s, a coat will still be needed for this outdoor event.
Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball
This Texas-sponsored event will be held on the banks of the Potomac River in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, bringing y'all the best of the Lonestar State. Your ticket gets you access to six different stages with big Texas acts performing, open bars and buffets, and a true Texas-style fair.
BWUFA Youth Presidential Inaugural Ball
This event, held in Arlington, Virginia's Crystal City Gateway Marriott Hotel, is the brainchild of Thandie James, an 11-year-old student who questioned why no inaugural balls were held for kids her age. Tickets are $50 for students and adults.
Sunday, January 20
Private Swearing-In Ceremony
President Obama will participate in a small, and very private, swearing in ceremony.
Artist's Inaugural Ball
Held at the Rock & Roll Hotel on H Street, this event is a tribute to and fundraiser for the creative communities of Washington, D.C. Tickets are $70 at the door.
The Dream Moving Forward Inaugural Gala
Held in the historic Howard Theatre, this is event will be packed with celebrities like Angela Bassett and Patti LaBelle. Some of the proceeds of the $200 tickets will go to The Memorial Fund for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument and the African American Civil War Memorial Museum.
Monday, January 21
This ceremony is open to the public and will be held on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. After taking the oath, the President will give an inaugural address, which will be televised for those stuck at home.
Presidential Inauguration Parade
Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue, the parade will feature members of all branches of the armed forces, including marching bands, color guards, and salute batteries. Eight custom-designed floats will make their way down the avenue, including four that represent the President and Vice President's family's home states (Hawaii, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Delaware), and four that represent the progress we have made as a country in the past four years. Bleachers will be erected from 3rd to 17th streets. Neglecting to arrive early will be a game-changer in this event, however, as officials will not allow anyone to line up prior to 7 a.m.
The Inaugural Ball
Tickets are now closed to this event at the Washington Convention Center, so unless you babysit for the Obamas, don't count on a last-minute ticket. If you were left out of the celebrity sighting, here are some events to hit up around the city. The Pennsylvania Society Inaugural Gala at The Ritz-Carlton will feature Queen Latifah, the Recording Industry Association of America's inauguration weekend fundraiser has Ke$ha performing, and Cyndi Lauper will be at the Human Rights Campaign's inaugural ball at the Mayflower Hotel.
Ambassadors Inaugural Ball
This event, held in the Carnegie Library, is to promote international peace, unity, and diplomacy. The entertainment lineup will represent the countries of Suriname, Gambia, Macedonia, Panama, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Albania, Bahrain, Kosovo, Slovenia, Guyana, Congo, Oman, Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tickets are $250.
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