Two Days Left to Win Free Inaugural Trip

10 01 2009

A few weeks ago I posted information about the Case Foundation’s Change Begins With Me contest, giving an awesome prize package to a lucky winner who takes the time to share ideas about creating change in their community. With the inauguration only 10 days away there is still time to enter. It really couldn’t be easier–in 250 characters, explain what you can do to help your community. Seriously, there is no reason NOT to enter. I did and I live in Washington DC! Its a chance to do more than win a prize. Seriously, there is no reason NOT to enter. I did and I live in Washington DC! Its a chance to do more than win a prize, although its a pretty good one. The winner receives:

* two tickets to the Inaugural Ceremony & the Hawaii Inaugural Ball
* volunteer opportunities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington,
* three-nights hotel stay
* airfare for you and a guest to the Nation’s Capitol
* a Flip video camera

The entries are online, and there seem to be only about 250 at this point. Here’s a few samples from the site to give you an idea of the scope of issues close to people’s hearts:

Andrea J. wrote: Always actively participating in my government. And staying fluent on the concerns of other people world wide.

Amir I. wrote: Find the solution to the problem between Israel and Palestine. I would do this by asking everyone on the internet to post their solution to the problem. I know there is a solution.We are all creatures created by one God.


Devin M. wrote: improve my community by making it safer for everyone! I commit to making the generation beneath me more intelligent and ready to be respectful, responsible teenagers. I also commit to making all youth be heard in my community, in the world.

See how easy it is? Your turn!


Celebrating on a Budget? Start Here.

3 01 2009

Cash In your Pocket
Apparently presidential inaugurations are completely recession-proof. Despite our country’s current economic state, prices for most things connected to the 56th Inauguration aren’t dropping one bit. Hotel prices are across the region are sky high and ball tickets are through roof. This is a pricey endeavor, specially if you’re planning to roll with the black tie crowd. But fear not: there are more thanenough free or cheap things to do–Obama related or not–that you can still have a fantastic time.

First off, if you haven’t taken advantage of the not one but two opportunities to win a free trip for two to the inauguration with all the trimmings, start there. If you win the only thing you’ll have to worry about is who to take with you and what to wear!

On Sunday afternoon, a welcome event at the Lincoln Memorial marks the official kickoff of the inauguration festivities. Start your day there, then head over to the FDR Memorial and back around to the WWII Memorial to take in some of the sights with the rest of the crowds. 

On Monday, the day before Obama’s swearing in will be a busy one across town, as people take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. If you’re traveling with a group from another city, consider signing up for a service project while you’re in town.

Monday will also feature two free concerts in different parts of town. The Kennedy Center, in partnership with Georgetown University (Hoya Saxa!) will present the “Let Freedom Ring” concert featuring Aretha Franklin, Nuttin but Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Starting at 4pm, one ticket per person will be distributed outside the concert hall, and the concert starts at 6pm. I imagine the line will start to form early–to get there, catch the Blue/Orange line train to Foggy Bottom and look for the red Kennedy Center shuttle or take the 15 minute walk.

Also on Monday, a free kids concert hosted by the Presidential Inaugural Committee is planned at the Verizon Center. Details on performers, time, etc. haven’t been announced yet, but tickets will be required.

Several other low cost performance events are planned for Monday night, including the Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball at the Black Cat on 14th St NW, for $50 per person, featuring artists and activists from Chicago. At the Harman Center for the Arts in Chinatown, $25 gets you tickets to A Celebration of Change: From Emancipation to Presidency, featuring the Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra.

Tuesday is the big day when millions are expected to fill the National Mall and downtown DC streets to view the parade and swearing in ceremony for President-elect Obama and Vice-President elect Biden. If you have tickets for the swearing in, plan to be in your seat as close to 9am as possible, when the gates open. For others planning to watch via Jumbotron on other parts of the Mall, get there early too, and don’t bring anything!

wonderballOn Tuesday night ball gowns and tuxedos will fill the city’s hotels, museums and other fancy spaces, but budget partiers have some options. Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights is hosting the Common Man’s Inaugural Ball, where $69 gets all you can drink from 9pm-4am, a commemorative poster and a t-shirt. On your way there, stop by Red Rocks Pizzeria a block away for some great pizza before the party. For those a little less hipster, Soccer Moms for Obama is hosting a celebration at the Women’s Club of Chevy Chase for $60 per person. Entertainment and hors d’Oeurves are included, but drinks are not. 

This is just a taste of some of the free and low cost things to do during this inauguration weekend. For more ideas, check out the DC’s convention and tourism bureau’s list of 44 free things to do around town, and check back for more budget friendly posts. If you are hosting or going to an event that should be included, share!

Another Free Trip to the Inauguration

30 12 2008

Your Ticket to History

Today the Obama/Biden Inauguration Committee announced a chance to win a trip for two to the inauguration, complete with hotel, in exchange for a donation to support the inauguration. Even if you aren’t willing or able to give, you can still enter to win just by signing up.

According to the email “you could be one of 10 selected to join us in Washington for all Inaugural events. Any donation you make between now and January 8th counts — whatever you can afford.” It’s not quite clear what all inaugural events means exactly, but since this is straight from the O/B committee its safe to say it will probably be worth your while.

12.29 Inaugural Roundup

29 12 2008

It was a busy day in inauguration land. First off, Jay-Z is coming! Of course, Love Nightclub scored the rapper-mogul-superstar for a party Friday before the election, with tickets from $100 to table reservations for $10,000???? If you can swing it, tix go on sale Monday.

The official inauguration bigwigs, also known as the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, sent out the first of several advisories for folks planning to head to the Mall on January 20–the information is good if you have tickets for seats during the swearing in OR if you’re planning to watch via jumbotron with the masses. It’s mostly common sense stuff, but there are some good points:

  • If you have seats, plan to be in them by 9am. The program starts at 11:30am, and late arrivals will not be admitted. So no CP time on this one, ok?
  • The weather has been really nice in DC for the past few days, but its generally freezing in January. Are you ready to stand, walk, and be shuffled along with millions of other people in potentially bad weather? Think about that. Oh, and no umbrellas…
  • Also, no chairs, no thermoses with coffee/cocoa/Henessey, no signs, no pets (except services animals of course), no backpacks. The list goes on.

obama-wmataToday I had to buy a Metrocard for the first time in months when I misplaced my SmarTrip card, and look what popped out for my $2? Cool, huh? If I was paying attention I would  have known these and the commemorative SmarTrip cards went on sale last week! Get one now–they work on the train or the bus, and you can avoid waiting in line to get a ticket with everyone else.

There are new events added to the Inaugural Events pages. I hope the breakdown by date makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.