Trying to guarantee that everyday Americans get a ticket to the ball, President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee announced this morning that he will host the first-ever "Neighborhood Inaugural Ball," which is billed as the premier event of the evening on Jan. 20.
The committee said tickets for the neighborhood ball, to be held at the Washington Convention Center, will be free or at affordable prices, with a portion of them reserved for Washington residents. The ball will also be broadcast on the web and include an interactive component.
Most inaugural balls are black-tie, glitzy affairs that cater to high rollers and contributors.
"This is an Inauguration for all Americans," Obama said in a statement. "I wanted to make sure that we had an event that would be open to our new neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., and also neighborhoods across the country. Michelle and I look forward to joining our fellow Americans across the country during this very special event."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.