Best Ways To Experience The Presidential Inauguration In Seattle

January 7, 2013 5:00 AM

(credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Celebrating President Barack Obama’s second term as president, the Presidential Inauguration is Jan. 21 this year. You don’t have to fly across the country to get in on the D.C. action this year. Whether you want to hob knob with the elite or just want an idea of what it feels like to be the leader of the country, these are some of the best ways to experience the Presidential Inauguration in 2013.

Washington State Governor’s Inaugural Ball
The Legislative Building & The Temple of Justice at Capitol Campus
416 14th Ave. SE
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 902-8880

Price: $100
Hours: Jan. 16 – 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Perhaps the next best thing to attending D.C.’s Presidential Ball, is the Washington State Governor’s Inaugural Ball. Held on the same day, this “intimate” party for 5,000 promises to be a big to-do. The night will be filled with introductions of officials, toasts and live entertainment to fulfill every guest’s tastes, including Johnny Lewis 16 piece Big Band Sound, Jessica Blinn Quartet, Michael Powers and The Halbert Harmonies. Ticket prices are steep, but it promises to be a night you won’t forget.

Grand Hall
1119 8th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 652-4255

Price: free
Hours: Jan. 21 – 8 a.m.

The City of Seattle is offering the next best thing to attending the big event in the “other Washington.” It’s hosting a free viewing party. The “Faith in America’s Future” inauguration viewing will include big-screen coverage, coffee and light breakfast items to purchase in a celebratory atmosphere. The broadcast begins at 8:30 a.m., so come early to settle in and socialize. Admission is free, but click here to order tickets.

Museum of Flight
9404 E. Marginal Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 764-5720

Price: $17 adults/$14 seniors/$9 youth (5 to 17)/free children 4 and younger

Feel presidential for a few minutes by walking inside Air Force One, the president’s personal jet plane. You may walk up and down the aisle of the actual jet at the Museum of Flight. No, this isn’t Obama’s jet, but this older 707 version served presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. It is beautifully preserved and well worth the visit to feel a little presidential on the big day.

Washington State Capitol
416 Sid Snyder Ave. SW
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 902-8880

Price: free

You don’t have to travel to the other Washington to see history and government in action. A short trip to Washington State Capitol is equally fascinating. The crown jewel of the campus, of course, is the Legislative Building, which holds the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and state treasurer. Built in 1928, it holds the largest chandelier made by the Tiffany Lighting Company and one of the tallest free-standing masonry domes in the world. Take a self-guided tour of the building, or a group tour which lasts about an hour, leaving you plenty of time to roam around the campus.

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 Fourth Ave. N
Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 275-4485

Price: $35 to $45 adults/$15 youth
Hours: Feb. 9 – 7:30 p.m.

While the Presidential Inauguration is in January, this February event is an absolute must for anyone who follows presidencies. Ed Asner from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant” (not to mention the voice of the old man in Pixar’s “Up”) will portray an earlier president: FDR. “Ed Asner as FDR” is a one-man show that will bring to life President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he ponders his years of service in the White House. Grant, who is a winner of seven Emmys and five Golden Globe awards will present this program based on the Broadway Hit, “Sunrise at Campobello” written by Dore Schary.

Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at

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