Public can now sign up for ticketsto presidential Inaugural Ball

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that tickets are available to the public only for the Inaugural Ball, and not for the Commander-In-Chief’s ball.

People who wish to attend the official Inaugural Ball with President Obama and wife after his swearing-in ceremony next month can begin signing up Friday to obtain a limited number of tickets, a source at the Presidential Inaugural Committee said Friday.

In light of the struggling economy, the committee — which is overseeing the planning of the inauguration day parade, the balls and other events before and after the oath-taking ceremony – will hold only two official balls this time: the Inaugural Ball and the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball.

Both the Inaugural Ball and the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball, which is a tradition started by President George W. Bush in 2005 to honor members of the armed forces, will be held Jan. 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the source said. Having them at one place should also economize on security and law enforcement personnel needed for the event.

People who wish to attend the Inaugural Ball must purchase tickets at $60 a head. The Commander-in-Chief’s Ball is for invited military guests only and is free.

“Tickets to the Commander-In-Chief’s Ball will be provided free of charge to all invited guests, who will include active duty and reserve service men and women, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors and their spouses, among others,” the source said.

Those who sign up for Inaugural Ball tickets will receive notification by e-mail when tickets become available, along with a link where they can request as many as two tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. The e-mail sign-up page can be found here. The source could not say how many tickets would be made available and how many had been reserved for special guests.

President Obama will take the official oath of office beginning his second term Jan. 20. He will take the oath again Jan. 21 in a public ceremony at the Capitol.

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