Official inaugural balls of the past have required guests to be officially invited and to travel to Washington to celebrate with the new president and his family. This year, one ball will be open to every American. It’s called the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, tickets will be affordable (some will even be free!), and the Obamas will attend the main ball at the Washington Convention Center.
The most innovative aspect of the neighborhood balls is the “balls” that will be hosted all over the United States and will be connected to Washington by webcast. Reportedly, the plan is for Obama to address all the neighborhood balls via webcast when he visits the main ball in Washington.
Obama will also be continuing a tradition created by President Bush – attending the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball. This ball is free and only available to military, spouses, and families of deceased soldiers.
Source: Presidential Inaugural Committee