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Celebrate Inauguration Day with a ball of your own

Katherine Martinelli is an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents. She recently released her first cookbook, Puff Pastry at Brunch: 10 Sweet and Sa...

A presidential fete

Much like the Olympics, Inauguration Day only comes around every four years. Celebrate with a party fit for the president!
A presidential fete

There has been an inaugural luncheon to celebrate the president since 1897 when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first gave a luncheon for President McKinley and several other guests at the U.S. Capitol. Follow suit with a presidential party to remember.


Send out themed evites letting people know the details of the party, including the location, time and dress code if there is one (Want people to dress up like it's a ball? Let them know!).

Don't miss a thing with this party planning checklist >>

A presidential feteDecor

For an Inauguration Day party, you have to go with Americana-themed decorations. Time to break out the stars and stripes and red, white and blue. Get small American flags to stick in cupcakes or other finger foods or desserts. Hang up red, white and blue streamers and bunting and get festive balloons for a fun feel.


If you want to keep people entertained, you can create a presidential quiz game to play during the party. Make up questions about historical presidential races or the most recent one. Alternately, screen the live inauguration in the background.

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For some authentic menu inspiration, check out what's been served at past inaugural balls, including recipes, here. Alternately, continue with the Americana theme and serve favorites like chicken wings, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and burgers.

red and white cocktailDrinks

Use food coloring or blue or red flavored liqueurs or syrups to create patriotic cocktails or mocktails. Campari or curacao are great red-and-blue options and patriotic straws and cocktail napkins are a great touch as well.

Check out the 2009 inauguration

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