Inauguration balls, concerts and more

When June Bond and her other Spartanburg GOP friends planned their bus trip to the inauguration, this was their vision: 75 McCain supporters play trivia games and bond on the ride to Washington, attend the S.C. State Society inaugural ball, visit Congressmen and senators, attend an S.C. delegation party and watch John McCain be sworn in.

Only problem is: McCain didn't win the election.

Bond said some of the people backed out. Bond and the trip organizers invited their Democratic counterparts. By last week, the bus trip was full.

"That's a lot to be said for our country," said Bond. "Whether you're partisan or not when it comes down to it, we're all American. What a magnificent thing that we can all go together."

Now 75 percent of people on the bus are Democrats, Bond said. The riders range from ages 7 to 85, and are coming from throughout South Carolina as well as Atlanta and Tennessee.

South Carolina's inaugural ball is sold out. It will be on Jan. 19 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

North Carolina's ball is also on Jan. 19. It's at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. If you want to attend, email your address to You will receive a formal invitation and response card in the mail in the first two weeks of December. You must return the card and your payment, however, tickets cannot be guaranteed. Members of the North Carolina Society of Washington will have firstpriority at purchasing tickets.