WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's Inaugural ball features gourmet food items like Cheez-Its crackers and stale pretzels, and the lines for drinks in the cavernous main space go dozens deep.
There are two Inaugural balls this year being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and they are divided into three massive rooms. The main ball, to which more than 25,000 tickets have been distributed, spans the massive basement level and features more than a half-dozen acts. The Commander-in-Chief's ball, started in 2005 under President George W. Bush, includes about 5,000 members of the military and their guests.
A smaller off-shoot of the main ball is being held in a nicer room on a different level of the convention center, and has significantly more restricted press access as that is where many donors and celebrities will be celebrating.
The paltry food and drink offerings are in line with previous inaugurals, and are seen by many attendees as a small price to pay for a glimpse of the President and First Lady.