Since 1809, when James Madison and his wife, Dolley, hosted the very first presidential inaugural ball, the gala has become the traditional way to celebrate the dawn of a new presidency in our nation's capital.
Every four years, there are literally dozens of inaugural celebrations, but the number of official events varies from president to president. President Bill Clinton's two inaugurations had 25 combined balls, while President Barack Obama had 10 official balls for his first inauguration and just two for his second.
President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will have three official balls at which they will both attend with their wives. The Presidential Inaugural Committee has released the details about those events.
"Our country was founded on, and has endured because of, the undying principles of freedom and liberty," PIC Communications Director Boris Epshteyn said. "In honoring these important values, the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Michael R. Pence will be celebrated at two balls open to the public, Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls.
"Additionally, we are pleased to announce the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball, open to invited guests who serve our country in our communities, at home and abroad."
The PIC released the following details about the balls:
Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and, for the first time ever, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will provide all television networks the right to freely air the live two-hour show simultaneously in both balls, allowing Americans throughout the country to watch the president's remarks and first dance with the first lady.
Liberty and Freedom: The Official Presidential Inaugural Balls will also feature special appearances from Sam Moore, Tim Rushlow and his Big Band, Silhouettes, The Rockettes, Pelican212, The Piano Guys, Circus 1903, Cache Olson, Lexi Walker, and Erin Boheme. The Salute to Our Armed Services Ball will feature special performances from Tony Orlando and Josh Weathers.
The Salute to Our Armed Services Ball will take place at the National Building Museum. This ball is by invitation only, and tickets are being provided free of charge by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to invited guests, who include active duty and reserve military, Medal of Honor recipients, wounded warriors, military families, veterans and first responders.
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