Want to be witness history when President-elect Barack Obama is officially sworn in Jan. 20? Join the club!
Washington, D.C., officials predict 1.5 million visitors will descend for the swearing-in, parade and dozens of balls and celebrity-filled parties. Here, for the truly committed, are tips for getting in on the action:
• Roll with Oprah!
If you’re in O’s entourage, you’re in luck: word is the Obama’s mega-supporter is planning a star-studded fete at the Kennedy Center on inauguration night. Winfrey told radio host Ed Lover on Election Day she had been planning her look for months. “I got me a board and put Barack Obama’s picture on it and I put a picture of my dress I want to wear,” she said. “Last week I said to the stylist, ‘Take it out of the closet. Let’s hang it up, and let it air out.’ ”
• Play the Lottery
Nearly a quarter million tickets have been printed for the Capitol swearing-in ceremony, with each member of Congress getting a pile to pass out – 350 for senators, 198 for representatives. Some are organizing lotteries, like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, whose office has received 100,000 requests. And if you win, don’t even think about scalping your ticket; legislation has been introduced to make it a crime, punishable by a $100,000 fine.
• Hit the Personal Ads
Single? Log onto Craigslist, where several purported inauguration-goers are looking for dates. One – a “recently divorced, healthy, athletic, 6′ 200-lb., very successful entertainment exec” – is even prepared to take his lady “shopping for your inauguration evening gown.”
• The Old-Fashioned Way
Get ready to open the ol’ wallet. Two tickets to the Creative Coalition’s Gala Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center – where stars Anne Hathaway, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee are expected – are yours for a cool $10,000. Many other Inaugural events still have tickets for sale.
• Sing for Your Supper
For recording artists, scoring an invite to the best balls may be as simple as signing up to sing. Prince, Rihanna and Elvis Costello are already in talks to perform at the Creative Coalition event, and Mary J. Blige and the rapper Common are reportedly interested. “Whatever they want – if they need me to volunteer, they need me to sing, I’m there, and I’m ready,” Beyoncé, a shoo-in, told the Associated Press.
• 2005: First Lady Laura Bush’s inaugural fashion predictions
• 1997: Revisit Bill Clinton’s second inaugural bash!
• Malia Obama picks at her dad’s hair during a family photo shoot