There will be no inaugural ball tonight: Here’s what will take its place

Washington
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Joe Biden is sworn in as U.S. President during his inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: Joe Biden is sworn in as U.S. President during his inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – There will be no lavish ballgowns and first dances tonight.

The traditional Inauguration Day ball has been canceled for 2021.

“We definitely want to honor the big, broad traditions of the inaugural,” Tony Allen, the Inaugural Committee’s chief executive, told the Washington Post. “But we also want to be sensitive to the realities of the moment, have safety protocols first and foremost.”

In lieu of the ball, Tom Hanks will be hosting a primetime special Wednesday night.

 “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will contribute a classical recitation, joining musicians like Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi. Hosts Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will be joined by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, chef Jose Andres, labor leader Dolores Huerta and Kim Ng, the first female general manager in MLB history.

The inaugural committee has made sure to blend this high-powered list with ordinary Americans and inspiring stories. Segments will include tributes to a UPS driver, a kindergarten teacher and Sandra Lindsay, the first in New York to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial.

You can watch the performances on the Biden Inaugural Committee’s official channels, including its website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch. Networks ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NBC and MSNBC will also air the special live on television at 8 p.m. ET.

According to the White House Historical Society, the first Inaugural Ball was held in 1809 to honor President James Madison and his wife, Dolley. The event reportedly drew some 400 guests and was such a hit that it set a precedent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured

More Featured Stories

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Daily Oklahoma Coronavirus Data

Contact In Your Corner Team

Latest News

More News

SCAN ME: KFOR App QR Code

image of QR Code

KFOR Digital Originals

More Digital Original

Popular

Follow @KFOR on Twitter

Border Report

More Border Report