This past weekend was dedicated entirely to the 2013 Inauguration, as the US celebrated Barack Obama’s reelection and his being sworn in for another four years as President of the United States. Yesterday’s festivities kicked off early, with everyone watching eagerly to see what Michelle Obama would wear to the first of the day’s events (a custom Thom Browne coat and dress, in case you missed it!). After a slew of high-profile events, the President and his FLOTUS danced to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at the official Inaugural Ball. The much-anticipated ball wasn’t the only thing that went down after the TV coverage ended last night. Below, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the Inauguration parties, by the numbers.
2 Balls: Due to the state of the economy, President Obama announced this year the number of Inaugural Balls would be cut back to two, as well as a concert prior to Inauguration Day honoring military families. This cutback helped to reduce spending, particularly in regards to the massive amount of security required to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. This was the lowest amount of Inaugural Balls in 60 years (in 2009, there were 10).
700,000 Square Feet: Last night’s Inaugural Ball was held at the massive Washington Convention Center, measuring a staggering 700,000 square feet. Not even the house the couple attempted to build in “The Queen of Versailles” comes close to that!
$5,000: The estimated cost of Michelle Obama’s red custom Jason Wu gown for the ball (she also wore the designer to the same event back in 2009). The stunning dress has officially cemented the designer’s place in the history books.
$50 Million: The planners for the Inauguration Ball cut ticket prices at the eleventh hour so they could meet their target, which was raising $50 million. No word on if they actually did.
35,000 People: 35,000 guests attended the Inaugural Ball. Unfortunately, unless you were a VIP, you weren’t living it up—food offerings included Cheez-Its and lines for drinks were dozens deep.
40,000 People: The bulk of people attended the official Inaugural Ball, but another 5,000 attended private events, making the grand total of people who celebrated the big event a staggering 40,000 people.
$60: The cost for entry to the Inaugural Ball was a mere $60 after ticket prices were slashed (it sold out days before the event), which may explain the relatively downmarket snack situation.
200 Years: The tradition of the Inaugural Ball is over 200 years old, and dates back to James Madison, who held the first one in 1809. Tickets back then were a measly $4. My, how times have changed…
$10: According to reports, mixed drinks at the Inaugural Ball ran $10, which is fairly pricey—even by Manhattan standards.
2,000 Guests: Following the Inaugural Ball which left many bored and sweating it out with the aforementioned Cheez-Its, 2,000 of the world’s elite attended a Chicago-themed shindig planned by Chicago mayor and Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at the Crowne Plaza. Open bar, sliders, and Chicago dogs were highlights of the event—oh, and it was co-hosted by Eva Longoria. Not too shabby! It was a hot ticket.
3:15 a.m.: At the late hour of 3:15 a.m., the ultra-exclusive party at the White House finally winded down. Guests included celebrities like Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, John Legend, Katy Perry, Eric Benet, Chrissy Teigen, Bill Clinton, Kelly Clarkson, and more. Obviously, this was the party to be at—but you definitely couldn’t order any tickets for this on Ticketmaster.
3:13: The length of time of Beyoncé’s smash hit single “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” lasts, which Michelle Obama was dancing to at the White House well into the wee hours.