On Jan. 20, 2009, Washington D.C will be the “it” spot.
The inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama is shaping up to be the event of the year, according to Roxanne Roberts, co-author of the Washington Post’s column “The Reliable Source.”
“Jan. 20 is going to be ground zero for everyone who wants to be part of this celebration, and that’s going to include boldface names and A-listers from Oprah on down,” she told the Associated Press.
There’s not a whole lot of details about all the official goings-on, but Obama supporters like Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen and Will.i.am are widely expected to be involved. The list of invitees is “a ways down the road,” said Linda Douglas, a spokeswoman for Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. “We want to make it an uplifting and optimistic set of events as much as possible in these trying times.”
Of course, there’s also going to be celebrations held all over the country. MTV has said it will host and broadcast the “Be the Change Inaugural Ball,” held in conjunction with the volunteerism campaign ServiceNation. The audience will be populated with activist young people in what Stephen Friedman, MTV’s general manager, says will be a “celebration of our audience.”
The Creative Coalition will hold a gala to be headlined by Elvis Costello. The nonprofit arts and entertainment advocacy group revealed that the following celebrities are expected to attend: Anne Hathaway, Spike Lee, Tim Robbins, Maggie Gyllenhaal and many others.
“The unofficial balls are probably going to be better than the official ones,” said Roberts. “In this economic environment, it is highly unlikely that there will a lot of dedicated activities for high rollers, as there have been in years past.”
Plus, the music stars are also clamoring to perform. “We are being inundated,” said Friedman. “It’s great when you have so many artists who are passionate about being a part of this moment.”
Beyonce Knowles has announced her eagerness to participate: “I’m there. I can’t wait. I feel like all of us, we’re ready to do whatever we have to do. If they need me to volunteer, they need me to sing, I’m there and I’m ready.”