On January 21 and 22, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term in the 57th Presidential Inauguration. But you don’t have to be there to get a front row seat to the making of history. NewsOne‘s Senior Editor, Abena Agyeman-Fisher, will act as your eyes and ears with a diary blog that will include photos, video, and unforgettable moments that put you in the center of history. Enjoy!
Monday night, I attended one of two balls that were held to celebrate President Barack Obama‘s swearing in on Monday afternoon. Called “The Inaugural Ball,” this much-sought-after event followed the “Commander-in-Chief” Ball, which, like the Kids’ Inaugural Ball that took place on Saturday, was started to honor the contributions of the military and their families by former President George W. Bush in 2005.
The two official balls are a stark contrast to the 10 official balls that were held back in 2009. According to ABC News, 2013’s balls are the fewest amount of balls held since incumbent President Dwight Eisenhower‘s inaugural celebrations in 1953.
While the Inaugural Ball was expected to hold more than 35,000 guests, with President Obama, First Lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s wife, Jill, in attendance, the event didn’t disappoint as one of the final soirees in the weekend-long Inaugural festivities.
Similar to the National Day of Service, the ball had stations with each region of the country represented, i.e., the Northeast, Midwest, and South (pictured above). At the stations, one could enjoy a light snack or purchase some alcohol for the night, with most opting for the alcohol. There were also places where guests could pose and take pictures against the presidential seal.
And you’ll never guess who was the MC for the night: none other than old-school-rapper-turned-DJ D-Nice (pictured below), who held it down on the ones and twos with Michael Jackson and Rihanna to keep the crowd on its feet.
While many in the press were quite run down from a full day — and weekend — of activities, Alicia Keys got everyone riled up by tweaking her hit “Girl on Fire” to commemorate President Obama’s second term, singing:
“Obama’s on Fire
Obama’s on Fire
He’s Walking on Fire
He’s walking on fire
Obama’s on fire
Everybody stares as he goes by
Because they can see the flames in his eye
Watch him as he lights up the night
Everybody knows that Michelle is his girl,
Together they run the world
And they going to let it burn, baby, burn, baby
Obama’s on Fire….
Watch Keys’ powerful performance here:
One of the acts to follow Keys was country singer Brad Paisley with a number of crowd favorites, and new pop trio fun. performed their rousing hits, such as “We Are Young” and “Some Nights.”
Practically ragged from all the excitement, attendants regained their energy when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle (pictured at top) were introduced onstage with Jennifer Hudson serenading their first and only dance.
While Michelle looked stately and distinguished during the swearing in, she looked the part of a leading lady with a red flowing dress by 2009-inauguration designer Jason Wu that accentuated her small waist.
Oscar-winning actress and singer Hudson joined the loving pair on the stage, singing Al Green‘s “Let Stay Together,” with Mrs. Obama beaming as her husband embraced her and glided smoothly across the stage.
Watch the President and First Lady dance here:
Naturally, the event, which was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was teeming with celebrities. Singer John Legend, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, gymnast Gabby Douglas (pictured below), and “The Wire” actor Jamie Hector were just some of the stars that were in the building.
But it was icon Stevie Wonder (singing above) whose star shone the brightest second to the First family. Wonder performed several award-winning favorites, including “Living in the City,” forcing the crowd to literally break out in dance.
Watch some of the dancing here:
Indeed, the evening was a night to behold with the great music, beautiful guests, and an awesomely cool First family — yet another night to cherish forever and always. Hey, I could get used to this!
Look at exclusive pictures of the 2013 Inaugural Ball here: