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Good to Go: Do-it-yourself inauguration party ideas

Tuesday - 1/15/2013, 8:01am  ET

Strawberries pinned together with blueberries and tomatoes paired with mozzarella make festive inauguration party snacks. (WTOP/Katie Howard)
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Katie Howard,

WASHINGTON - As a native Washingtonian, I have always enjoyed inauguration time every four years when some added glitz and glamour comes to the nation's capital.

However, maybe you are like me with no ticket in hand for an inaugural ball and will instead spend the evening with kids or friends or host guests who are attending the inauguration festivities. Perhaps you have tickets to a ball but are looking for some ideas to kick off the day's festivities. Whatever the case, here are some ways to have your own inauguration revelry at home.

Dancing with the politicians

Get your playlist in order for an evening of dancing and festivities mixed with a little civics. Bipartisan energy lends well to games like the classic pin the tail on the donkey -- or elephant.

A little bit of research could produce a fun game of inauguration trivia with prizes attached.

Here's a sample question: Who gave the longest inaugural address and died one month later?

Answer: President William Henry Harrison in 1841 delivered a 1 hour, 45 minute speech without wearing a hat or coat in a snowstorm. He came down with pneumonia and died one month into office.

All dressed up and no place to go

Here's a chance to dust off those fourth of July decorations or wear your New Year's Eve attire again. Party City stores throughout the Washington area have red, white and blue party décor to display your own ball's appetizers, dishes and backdrop. If your guest list is bipartisan, a common trait of Washington events, there are hats and favors for both sides of the voting aisle.

Festive food and drinks

Red, white and blue appetizers make festive snacks for Inauguration time. Fresh strawberries and blueberries with an American flag toothpick will win over your party attendees, young and old. Mini-crab cakes, cupcakes or tomatoes with mozzarella balls also go well with Old Glory attached.

Manager Emily Hart of the Williams-Sonoma store in the District's Mazza Gallerie offers a blueberry maple whiskey cocktail recipe.


  • 2 ½ ounces (75 mL) white wine
  • 4 ounces (120 mL) whiskey
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) real maple syrup
  • ½ cup (78 g) frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 2 cups (480 mL) ice cubes


1. Place all ingredients into a blender in the order of ingredients listed and secure lid.

2. Start blending at a low speed and slowly increase.

3. Blend for 20 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.

Nutritional information per 1 cup serving: Calories: 152, Total Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Protein: 0 g, Fiber: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Sodium: 3 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Visit WTOP's inauguration survival guide for information on area road and Metro closures and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website for all information related to all events of the 57th presidential inauguration.

Editor's Note: WTOP's Katie Howard is a mom on the go. With two children under age 5, she's always looking for ways to provide her family fast and healthy snacks, meals and activities. Katie share her go-to food and family fitness tips every Tuesday on her blog "Good to Go."

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