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Obama Restricts Number Of Inaugural Balls

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With the nation under financial strain, President Barack Obama is restricting the inaugural balls to the lowest number in 60 years -- only two official parties are scheduled, and a concert honoring military families.

The subdued celebration is a large cut from the 10 balls Obama had in 2009. Inaugural planners say it's a reflection of tough economic times and an effort to minimize the burden on law enforcement and District residents.

The concert on Saturday, Jan. 19 and the balls on Monday, Jan. 21 are being held at the Washington Convention Center.

One will be the Commander In Chief's Ball for members of the Armed Forces. The other ball is being called the Inaugural Ball, and some tickets will be available to the public.

Inaugural organizers are expecting a drop in attendance for the whole inaugural affair this year compared with 2009, when a record 1.8 million packed the National Mall to see the first black president sworn into office.

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