Nation's capitol begins celebrating Trump's inauguration

Galas, balls started as early as Wednesday

WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump will take office following his inauguration on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building Friday. Leading up the event, inaugural galas and balls will be held in the nation’s capitol.

The first of the inaugural balls, the Florida Sunshine Ball, was hosted by Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday night.

The following statement was made by Scott regarding the ball:

Dear Friends, as we prepare to welcome the 45th President of the United States of America, we look forward to celebrating with each and every one of you on January 18th at the Florida Sunshine Ball. Sincerely, Governor Rick Scott & First Lady Ann Scott

The ball was held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.  Capacity was limited to 1,000 people. A week ahead of the event, the website’s RSVP function was disabled, with a message: “Due to an overwhelming response, RSVPs are now closed.”

"This is a, for us, a once in a lifetime event. We've never been to something like this and it's been great to see everybody come together and looking forward to the future of our country," said Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, who was among the attendees. 

Nassau County Republican Party Chairwoman Cherie Billings said it was her first time attending the governor's ball. 

"I think we'll see a lot of friends from Florida, have a couple of drinks and congratulate ourselves," Billings said. "(It's) just celebrating, at least for most of us. There are some people really hard at work -- the volunteers having to work really hard getting his cabinet ready and going through the hearings." 

Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida, described the buzz of excitement, not only at the Florida Sunshine Ball, but across the nation's capitol.

"When your party has been locked out of the White House for eight years, and you won an unexpected election, it's euphoric. That seems to be the mood. They're on top of the world," MacManus said. 

The U.S. Constitution stipulates that the inauguration takes place at noon on Friday. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the oath of office to Vice President-elect Mike Pence before U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in Trump.

Trump's inauguration parade is expected to be about 90 minutes long, shorter than those of most previous presidents.

According to a Washington Post report, Trump will only be attending three balls after his inauguration – two official balls, followed by the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball at the National Building Museum.

The following is a list of some of the inaugural balls and galas:

  • Sister Cities International Inaugural Gala, Jan. 17 at the Organization of American States
  • 2017 Inaugural Heartland Ball, Jan. 19 at the Marriott Marquis
  • Bluegrass Ball, Jan. 18, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel
  • South Carolina Presidential Inaugural Ball, Jan. 19 at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Institute
  • Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball, Jan. 19 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
  • Deplorables Inaugural Ball, Jan. 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
  • All American Inaugural Ball, Jan. 19 at the MGM National Harbor
  • Garden State Inaugural Gala, Jan. 19 at the Washington Court Hotel
  • DeploraBall, Jan. 20 at the Bolger Center in Bethesda, Maryland
  • The Vettys Inaugural Ball and Awards, Jan. 20 at the Hay-Adams Hotel
  • Native Nations Inaugural Ball, Jan. 20 at the National Museum of the American Indian
  • Dardanella: The Great Gatsby Presidential Inaugural Ball, Jan. 20 at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Institute
  • Salute to Heroes/Veterans Inaugural Ball, Jan. 20 at the Renaissance Hotel
  • Washingtonian Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21 at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Institute

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