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Inaugural Balls for the Rest of Us: Where to Party Without an Invitation

Did your invitation get lost in the mail, too? Not to worry, here’s a list of parties and balls happening the week of inauguration that don’t require a special invitation, overly expensive tickets, or—in some cases—black-tie attire. Don’t see a party listed? Send an e-mail to asalinas@washingtonian.com and we’ll get the information posted.

For lots more daily inaugural coverage, news about balls, parties, the parade, and more, check out our Washingtonian.com Inaugural Guide.

And if you do want to see a list of balls and galas, head here. 

Party Like a President
Date: Thursday, January 15 through Tuesday, January 20
Location: 14 different venues
Ticket price: Daily package ticket range from $300 to $1000; Weekend package tickets are $1500 for one person and $2,500 couples; All Access Presidential package is $3000 for one person and $4500 for couples.
For more details on the venues and tickets, click here.

Wonkette Inaugural Ball
Date: Friday, January 16
Location: Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill
Time: 10 PM.
Ticket Price: Free, but you must RSVP at tips@wonkette with the subject line "I have coordinated my bumpass-rose to wonkette's party"
Food and drink: Complimentary beer.
Entertainment: Other than the Wonkette writers? DJs and live performances.

Lizz Winstead's Wake Up World
Date: Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17
Location: Arlington Cinema 'n' Drafthouse
Time: 8 PM.
Ticket Price: $20
Entertainment: Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead and a troupe of comedians put on a live morning show satire.

Asia Society Presidential Inaugural Reception
Date: Saturday, January 17.
Location: Astor Ballroom at the St. Regis.
Time: 5:30 PM.
Attire: Business.
Ticket price: Asia Society members $100 for an individual, $175 for a couple; nonmembers $150 individual, $275 couple; $250 VIP.
Food and drink: Open bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Obamarama Pre-Inaugural Party
Date: Saturday, January 17
Location: Surf Club Live
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Casual
Ticket price: $10 members; $12 nonmembers; $15 at the door.
Entertainment: CW Harrington & Band will perform.

Washington Film Institute’s Pre-Inaugural Ball
Date: Saturday, January 17.
Location: Warehouse Theatre.
Time: 9 PM.
Attire: Cocktail, black-tie optional.
Ticket price: $100.
Food and drink: Open bar and dessert buffet.

Songs for Presidents
Date: Saturday, January 17.
Location: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.
Time: 7:30 PM.
Ticket price: $16 in advance, $20 at the door.
Entertainment: Jukebox the Ghost, These United States, Nellie McKay, and other artists perform songs from Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 US Presidencies.

Pre-Inaugural Kickoff
Date: Saturday, January 17.
Location: Tuscana West.
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Semiformal, black-tie optional.
Ticket price: $135.
Attending: DC Councilmember Marion Barry has confirmed his attendance; Mayor Adrian Fenty and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton are also expected.

Be the Change
Date: Saturday, January 17
Location: Chloe
Time: 10 PM
Attire: Casual
Ticket price: $10 in advance. Admission price will be higher at the door.

History 2009
Date: Sunday, January 18
Location: Saki
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Formal
Ticket price: $30

Mambo for Obama
Date: Sunday, January 18.
Location: Zanzibar on the Waterfront.
Time: 8 PM for VIPs, 10 PM for general public.
Attire: Black tie.
Ticket price: $75 general, $150 and $250 VIP.
Food and drink: Complimentary wine and Champagne.

Obama Wonderama!
Date: Sunday, January 18
Location: Warehouse Theater
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Creative
Ticket price: $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Entertainment: Star-studded burlesque, Coney Island-style sideshow, belly dancing, and more.

Capitol Riverfront Gala
Date: Sunday, January 18
Location: Jefferson Building (70 I Street, SE)
Attire: Creative black tie
Ticket Price: $110
Food and drink: Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine, beer, or liquor.
Entertainment: DJ TFresh

Inaugural Kick-Off Party with Moby
Date: Sunday, January 18
Location: 9:30 Club
Attire: Casual
Ticket price: $35
Entertainment: Moby behind the turntables.

Jay-Z in Concert on the Eve of Change
Date: Monday, January 19.
Location: Warner Theatre.
Tickets: On sale starting Friday, January 9, at the Warner box office, Ticketmaster locations, or LiveNation.com, or by phone at 703-573-7328, 202-397-7328, 410-547-7328, or 800-551-7328.

Taint: MLK/Inauguration Party
Date: Monday, January 19.
Location: DC9.
Time: 9 PM.
Attire: Casual.
Cover price: $5.

Inauguration Variety Show Bash
Date: Monday, January 19, through Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Palace of Wonders
Time: 1 PM to 4 AM.
Attire: Casual.
Cover price: $5.

The Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball
Date: Monday, January 19.
Location: Black Cat.
Time: 7 PM.
Attire: “Thrift-store formal.
Cover price: $50.
Entertainment: Ted Leo, Andrew Bird, and Waco Brothers are among the performers. Author Thomas Frank will also attend.

CANCELED: Luke Russert Inaugural Party
Date: Monday, January 19
Location: The Rookery
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: "Jacket required"
Ticket price: $95 for the first 50 tickets sold.
Entertainment: Live music by Old Man Brown band.
Food and drink: Cash bar.

The People’s Inauguration Ball
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Rock and Roll Hotel.
Time: 9 PM.
Attire: Casual
Cover price: $10.
Entertainment: A collective of DJs, including Nacey of Nouveau Riche and Meistro of Dirty Bombs, will play on both floors throughout the night.

Dance for Equality
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Town Danceboutique.
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Casual.
Ticket price: $50.

The Art of Change
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Three venues on the 1000 block of Seventh Street, Northwest.
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Creative
Food and drinks: Main bar will accept credit cards, otherwise cash only.
Ticket price: $50.
Entertainment: DJs, belly dancing, spoken word, standup, and a fire performance.

Inauguration 2009 Celebration
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: McGinty’s Public House.
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: “Your best party outfit”
Food and drinks: Cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.
Ticket price: $35 (advance purchase required). Contact Sarah Lynch at lynchstedt@starpower.net.
Entertainment: Country band J.P. McDermott and Western Bop.

Funk 4 Peace Inaugural Ball
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Modern.
Time: 8 PM.
Attire: Casual.
Ticket price: $15 before 10 PM, $20 after that.
Entertainment: Afrika Bambaataa, Fort Knox Five, and DJ Slant & Bjoo.

BYT Inauguration Classic 2k9 Spectacular
Date: Tuesday, January 20.
Location: Bohemian Caverns.
Time: All day long.
For more information, click here.

Wonder Ball
Date: Tuesday, January 20
Location: Wonderland Ballroom
Time: 9 PM
Attire: Funky, formal and fresh eclectic.
Ticket Price: $69
Entertainment: DJ sets by Funk DC

Comet Ping Pong Inauguration Party
Date: Tuesday, January 20
Location: Comet Ping Pong
Time: 9 PM
Attire: Casual
Ticket price: Free Admission
Entertainment: Brandon Butler, Vandaveer, Federico Aubele.

Flickr Meetup DC- Inauguration Day
Date: Tuesday, January 20
Location: SOVA coffeehouse
Time: 12 PM
Attire: Casual
Food and drinks: "nibbles and drinks"
Entertainment: Digital frame exhibit of Election Night and Inauguration pictures

The Georgetown Inauguration Ball
Date: Tuesday, January 20
Location: Shadow Room
Time: 9 PM
Attire: Black tie preferred.
Ticket price: $80
Food and drink: Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, open bar.

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