More than one million people are expected in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20 for the historic inauguration of the nation's first black president, Barack Obama. As if this and its implications are not enough to celebrate, consider that it will occur after the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. The theme of the inauguration will be "Renewing America's Promise."
For those not fortunate (or crazy) enough to be heading to D.C., there are a myriad of ways to witness history. Many don't require standing amid the masses trying to get a bead on the steps of the Capitol, where the oath of office will be delivered at noon EST.
After a day of televised events, including the long parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, the business of real celebrating will get underway.
The Blaine County Democrats will celebrate the inauguration with a gala of their own at 7 p.m. Jan. 20, in the Limelight Room of the Sun Valley Inn. Jazz musicians Sally Tibbs and Kevin Kirk will provide musical entertainment. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. Each ticket is good for one glass of free wine, otherwise there will be a no-host bar.
State Sen. Clint Stennett and state Rep. Wendy Jaquet will attend as guests of honor.
Large screens will show live broadcasts of inauguration celebrations from D.C. Eight official balls will be held. Each region of the country has its own ball—Idaho shares its with 13 other Western states as well as Guam and American Somoa.
Though the Obamas' plans for parties are not known, the new president most certainly will attend the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball, which honors the country's active duty and reserve military. Invited guests who pay nothing for the event include wounded warriors, families of fallen heroes and spouses of deployed military. It's more than probable that the newly inaugurated president will also attend the Obama Home States Inaugural Ball, hosted by Illinois and Hawaii.
"This is the end of a long eight years, and it's time to really celebrate the new change," said Betty Murphy, chairwoman of the Blaine County Democrats. "It will be a happy gala evening for us all."
Murphy said many people are reserving tables. Individual tickets are $35 and are available at Notes Music in Hailey and Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum. Tickets will also be available at the door. Dress is "Ketchum black tie" which means it's "dressy but not necessarily formal," Murphy said.
For more information call Murphy at 726-6423.