Those who can't get into the convention hall with the Obamas can still carouse into the night at several unofficial balls across Washington, including some drawing their own celebrity entertainment. Charity group Musicians On Call, when sends performers to play bedside for hospitalized patients, is being headlined by chart-topping singer Ke$ha.
Those who work for Obama will get their own chance to celebrate with the president, with a staff ball planned for the day after the inauguration. That celebration is kept private, but last year was reportedly quite a bash, according to one attendee, with rap star Jay-Z singing a riff on one of his hit songs, "99 problems but George Bush ain't one," to the delight of the throngs of young staffers who worked so hard to turn the White House Democratic.
More tickets to The Inaugural Ball will be on sale, but not to the general public. They will go to campaign volunteers, community leaders, elected officials and other invitees, as well as donors being asked to contribute up to $250,000 individually or $1 million from corporations to pay for the festivities. Invitees will be sent an email in the next few days with personalized Ticketmaster account information they can use to purchase up to two tickets.
The Inaugural Ball's halls extend across two floors, so the president and first lady plan to spin on the dance floor of each level. At the Commander In Chief's Ball, the president and first lady plan to continue the tradition of dancing with members of the military.
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. But could it also be an effort to give the president some relief from having to dance to the same song over and over again all across town on an already exhausting day?
President George W. Bush didn't hide his annoyance after his second inaugural at having to repeatedly sashay around to a musical medley that included "I Could Have Danced All Night." Could have, but did not: He and first lady Laura Bush danced for a cumulative total of just 8 minutes, 54 seconds across 10 galas.
AP music writer Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.