Hot Tickets: Trump Limits Inaugural Partying to Two Balls, Far Less Than Obama and Bush

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump will attend two official balls on the evening of his inauguration, the committee planning the events announced Friday.Though the total is consistent with Obama’s second inauguration, it’s down from the higher average number of inaugural balls held in recent years.President Obama attended 10 inaugural balls with his wife, Michelle, on the evening of Jan. 20, 2009. But the Obamas reduced the events to two balls four years later for his less momentous second inauguration.The all-time record is held by President Bill Clinton, who found a way to cram in a whopping 14 official balls to the evening of his second inauguration in 1997.The number of balls went down to eight for President George W. Bush’s first inauguration, and nine for his second -- both still markedly higher than Trump’s plans. Bush and his wife, Laura, were not known to hog the dance floor during the events, however, with their dances at each inaugural ball in 2001 ranging between 29 and 56 seconds.Set to span over several days, events surrounding the inauguration will take on the same theme as Trump’s campaign: “Make America Great Again!”The tradition of inaugural balls is as old as the presidency, with the first one held in New York City a week after George Washington’s inauguration in 1789. Though the first ball was not official, 300 guests attended and the incoming president danced a minuet and two cotillions.The balls began to multiply with the inauguration of Andrew Jackson, who held two, and then William Henry Harrison, who added a third.Sometimes the number and style of the balls have appeared to reflect the mood of the country. Jimmy Carter charged only $25 per ticket, and Warren G. Harding cancelled the custom for his inauguration, hoping to set an example of simplicity.Trump’s inaugural ceremonies will also include public events on the National Mall, a welcome rally with the president-elect, a parade and a ball to honor military members and first responders.“This will truly be a powerfully uniting moment for the American people,” said Tom Barrack, a private equity real estate investor serving as chairman of the inaugural committee.  Continue reading...

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