WASHINGTON--The Obama team is planning a series of downsized, muted events to celebrate the second inauguration of President Barack Obama; the Inaugural Balls--in the past staged in venues across the city--will all be held at the city's massive convention center.
Obama's Jan. 2009 inauguration drew the largest crowd of any event in the history of Washington and in the history of presidential inaugurations, according to the Joint House and Senate Committee in charge of the Inauguration events that take place in the Capitol.
Obama will be sworn-in twice: On Sunday, Jan. 20, because that's the day the Constitution says it has to take place and Monday, a symbolic swearing in for the public.
The 2013 Inauguration is the seventh time the mandated Inauguration date has fallen on a Sunday. Tradition has been each time to hold the celebrations the next day.
As for the downsizing, an Inaugural source told me, "As we plan this year's Inaugural, we are working to create an event that is both celebratory and appropriate given the nation's ongoing economic recovery. This year, by holding a smaller number of Inaugural balls in a centralized location, we'll be able to continue a more than 200-year-old tradition while reducing the burden on local law enforcement and security personnel, as well as on DC residents."
The second inauguration will also be less dramatic because there is no turn-over in the White House and no coverage of a departing president.
Events are planned by the Joint Congressional Committee and the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee, run by the Obama team that managed his campaign. There will also be many private parties, large and small, hosted by special interests who do business in Washington.
As happened in 2009, the Obama team is putting together a VIP package for major donors.
Here's a guide to the major events:
National Day of Service
Children's Concert at Convention Center
From Inaugural planners: "Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will host a concert for America's children and families as part of President Obama's second Inaugural. The concert will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 19th, the Saturday before the Inauguration. As part of the First Lady and Dr. Biden's ongoing commitment to our military families, the concert will highlight support for military spouses and children, honoring and celebrating their service and sacrifice. ...The concert will once again feature popular young artists. This year's talent and additional details about the concert will be announced in the coming weeks."
Illinois State Society 2013 Inauguration Gala
From the society, founded in 1854: "Once again we will be highlighting our great state, and you will be able to do it all!! Everywhere you go, you will find the sights, sounds, and foods of Illinois. Eight different musical groups, including groups from Chicago, will provide continuous entertainment throughout the evening."
The heavily Illinois-themed event "features multiple open bars, heavy hors d'oeuvres and buffet stations, continuous live music and dancing from 8:30 PM until 1:30 AM."
Official Swearing-In Ceremony at the White House.
Press pool coverage
Procession to Capitol
Public Swearing-In Ceremony
Inaugural luncheon in the Capitol
On the balls, from Inaugural planers: "Though there will be fewer official Inaugural balls than in years past, capacity for this event will be significantly increased--every Hall in the Convention Center will be used."
National Prayer Service