London, January 10 (ANI): If U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has his way, his inauguration on January 20 will mark a night when America will be classless society, as he wants it to be a "Neighbourhood Ball" which will be attended not only by the elite but also by people from poor and black parts of Washington.
Obama has expressed his desire to give away some of the tickets for free and some for as little as 25 dollars, compared to the average 250 dollars for more exclusive affairs.
According to reports, dozens of small and cheaper events with beer and wine, instead of cocktails and spirits, are being organised to honour the first black president.
"This is an inauguration for all Americans. I wanted to make sure that we had an event that would be open to our new neighbourhood here in Washington DC, and also neighbourhoods across the country," the Telegraph quoted Obama as saying.
A spokesman for his transition team added: "With tickets available free or at an affordable price, it is the first official inaugural ball of its kind."
Obama's desire to have an unbiased ball, however, has been called into question.
With the final bill for the swearing-in ceremony, parade and parties estimated at 45 million dollars, only 24.8 million dollars have been raised so far, of which 21.6 million dollars have come from big spenders rather than small donors.
However, despite rich people funding his inauguration, the Obama team denies that there will ever be any quid pro quo.
There are also plans to broadcast the event to living rooms and community centres across the country using the Internet. Obama's supporters will also be able to text-message him.
There will also be a star-studded Creative Coalition ball, an unofficial event where Sting and Elvis Costello will perform. The guests at the event will include Anne Hathaway, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Spike Lee. (ANI)