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Free Republic’s 2001 Inaugural Ball and Count the White House Silverware Party was such a rousing success that 61 million Americans demanded we do it again in 2005. So, we are!

The Free Republic W2 Inaugural Ball, featuring Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his rock and roll band, Capitol Offense, will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2005 in Washington, D.C.

The Ball, which will celebrate the reelection of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as honor our men and women serving in the Armed Forces, will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel from 7 p.m. to Midnight.

Admission to the Free Republic W2 Inaugural Ball is currently $175 per person for those purchasing advance reservations by December 31st and will be $200 per person thereafter, and $250 at the door if not sold out beforehand. A limited number of restricted children’s admissions are available for $30 for those children under 13 years old. Please note that paid admissions are nonrefundable.

Attire for the Ball is black tie optional.

We are very honored that Governor Huckabee and Capitol Offense accepted our invitation to play a return engagement at our Ball. Everyone was so thrilled by their performance at the 2001 Ball that asking the band to play at this Ball was our first priority on November 3rd.

click for full size photo
Governor Mike Huckabee (left) and the Capitol Offense Band

Only 1,000 admissions to the Ball will be sold. We’d love to have you join us. FReepers worked very hard this year, on the forum and off, to help secure President Bush’s reelection. This will be your night, too. See you there!

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Click for Washington Plaza Hotel Page What is the address for the hotel where the Ball is being held?

The Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle
Washington, D.C. 20005
202 842-1300

What attire is appropriate for the Ball?

Black tie and evening gowns are preferred, however business attire and business casual are acceptable. Cowboy boots and dress jeans are also appropriate. Active duty, reservists and retired military are encouraged to wear their dress uniforms.

We appreciate that not all FReepers like to dress up, so use your best judgment. However, wearing shorts, thongs or vulgar t-shirts will not get you in the door.

Why does admission to the Ball cost $175?

Prices for events like this at D.C. hotels have doubled since our 2001 Ball. The price covers the costs associated with paying for all expenses for the Ball. This is not a fundraiser for Free Republic. We are hoping to just break even.

What does the price of admission cover?

The price of admission includes: Buffet style salads, pastas, cheese and fruit, sliced turkey, ham and salmon, desserts, coffees and teas. There will be open bars serving liquor, beer, wine, bottled water, juices and sodas. Free coat check and reduced parking rates at the Washington Plaza are also included. If feasible, we will arrange to hire shuttle buses to give free rides from the McPherson Square Metro station to the hotel and back.

What methods of payment are being accepted?

American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and PayPal.

Checks and money orders are acceptable with the following conditions: Checks and money orders must be received within 10 calendar days of your online order being placed for your request to be honored. Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged $30. Please do not send cash.

A confirmation e-mail will be sent once your payment has cleared. Please save it and print a copy to take with you to the Ball as no tickets will be issued.

Is there a deadline for admission sales?

Credit card and PayPal order requests will be accepted through January 20, 2005, provided the admissions have not sold out by then.

Order requests by check and money order must be placed by December 31, 2004 and received by January 14, 2005, provided the admissions have not sold out by then.

Please note that the price of admission is $175 if purchased in advance on or before December 31, 2004 and will be $200 thereafter until the deadline.

Will admissions be sold at the door?

Maybe. There will only be 1,000 paid admissions available. If they sell out before the Ball, there will be no door sales. If there are door sales, the admission price will be $250. Cash or credit card only. No checks accepted at the door. Government issued photo ID will be required.

Why are tickets not being issued for the Ball?

For security reasons, formal tickets are not being issued for the Ball. When purchasing admissions to the Ball, you will be required to give your name and those of your guests. To gain admission to the Ball, you and your guests will be required to provide a government issued photo ID at the registration table. Any changes as to whom you are bringing to the Ball must be sent via e-mail to Jim Robinson by January 5, 2005. After January 5, please inform Kristinn Taylor by e-mail before January 20.

Are admissions refundable?

No. Because substantial financial commitments must be made for the Ball, we will not be able to refund the admission fee for any reason. If you are unable to attend, you will be allowed to transfer your admission to your designee by following the notification procedure above, or you may donate your admission(s) to a wounded OIF or OEF veteran recuperating at D.C. area military hospitals (contingent upon approval by the hospitals.)

Free Republic reserves the right to refuse admission to the Ball of any known disruptor or antagonist without refunding their admission. Anyone who pays admission and disrupts the Ball shall be removed from the Ball and their admission fee will not be refunded.

Will there be security officers at the Ball?

Yes. For security reasons we will not explain further.

What does the restricted children’s admission cover?

Because some parents don’t wish to leave their children at home on such a special night, we have made arrangements with the hotel for a special children’s room directly adjacent to the Ball. A children’s meal consisting of chicken fingers, french fries, string beans, coleslaw, cookies and fruit punch will be provided.

Parents will be responsible for the supervision of their children. The room can hold about two dozen children under 12, therefore a limited number of restricted children’s admissions will be available.

What about children over 12?

Youths and young adults under 21 and over 12 will have to pay the regular admission price of $175. They will be able to participate in all Ball activities. By law, they are prohibited from possessing alcohol. The hotel reserves the right to card anyone. Persons under age 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Is smoking allowed at the Ball?

Smoking will only be allowed in the hotel bar ( a very short walk from the Ball area) and outside the hotel.

Does having an open bar mean I can drink as much as I want?

No. The hotel reserves the right to refuse to serve anyone appearing intoxicated. The hotel will not serve alcohol to those under 21 years old. The hotel reserves the right to card anyone requesting or drinking an alcoholic beverage.

Is parking available?

Yes. Some street and garage parking is available. The Washington Plaza has a pay parking garage underneath the hotel. Ball guests will be able to self-park at the discounted rate of $9 for the event. Please note the garage has a 6 foot maximum clearance and that it only has about 300 parking spaces. A small lot for taller vehicles will be available next to the hotel on Vermont Avenue.

Street parking is available, but limited as the hotel is near residences and small businesses. If at all feasible, take a cab or Metro to the Ball.

What’s the closest Metro station?

The closest Metro station is McPherson Square on the Orange and Blue lines. It is about a four block walk from the Washington Plaza. We are looking into hiring a shuttle bus to ferry Ball guests from the McPherson Square station to the Ball and then back afterward. We will decide later whether this is feasible and make an announcement about it. Metro normally closes at midnight on weekdays, but should stay open late for the Inaugural. We should get confirmation of that closer to the Ball.

For more information about Metro, go to http://www.wmata.com

What will a taxi ride cost me?

The non-rush hour single passenger fare within one zone is $5.50 The Washington Plaza is located in D.C. Taxi Zone 1, which covers most of downtown D.C. Fares and zone maps can be found at the following: Click for Taxicab Zone Map

Driving directions:

Click for map to hotel


Most hotels, including the Washington Plaza, are requiring a three night stay for the Inauguration. Less expensive rooms can normally be found outside the city in Northern Virginia (Arlington, Crystal City, Alexandria and Falls Church) and suburban Maryland (Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg.) Look for hotels that are close to Metro stations.

Will there be a pre-Inaugural Wednesday night FReeper dinner?

Probably, but we’re not working on that now. We will post a thread in early January to gauge interest. If there is sufficient interest, one will be arranged.

Will there be a souvenir Ball video or DVD available after the Ball?

Maybe, depending on whether there is sufficient interest.

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(Please direct press inquires to Kristinn Taylor.)

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