I wouldn't call what we are having a "bash," but we feel January 20 is one of the most important days any of us have ever seen. My boyfriend and I are taking the day off work, as are most of his family members, and we are spending the day together at our house (my family lives in different states, otherwise I am sure they would join us). Here is the menu as we know it so far:

  • Inaugural Balls (meatballs)
  • Roasted TomatObamas
  • A Barack of Ribs
  • Obama Bread
  • Barackolli Casserole
  • And it is B.Y.O.Bama!
More to come I am sure! We will, of course, be having a champagne toast as we watch our new president take the oath of office.

Liz Hoffman from Richmond, Virginia

I am so excited! I plan to take the day off from work (already approved). I will have an inauguration party at my home with the neighbors and friends. Flags will be given as the party favors, and we will have a "Know your Obama President" game. The winner, of course, will get a bottle of champagne or something. Since I am in California, the inauguration ceremony will be Tivo'd. I cannot wait. I will wear a formal gown and suggest our guest be semiformal.

Brenda Cepeda from Citrus Heights, California

I grew up in Hawaii and graduated from Barack Obama's high school, Punahou, a bit earlier (1970), so I am so, so proud of our Hawaiian boy. I am having an inauguration party at my home in Mystic, Connecticut, with a Hawaiian theme because that is my connection with the new president. 

We are having Hawaiian-style food and pupus, listening to Hawaiian music, maybe a little hula and celebrating a proud and memorable day with friends. Of course, pictures of Barack body-surfing at Sandy Beach will be on display! Aloha!

— Ceseli Milstein from Mystic, Connecticut

I am a high school guidance counselor, and I have realized over the past 2 years that kids have been hearing an awful lot of doom and gloom about the economy, my own kids included. My husband and I watch the evening news and talk about the state of the nation. I have had many high school kids wander into my office stressed out and scared for their families.

So, to balance that out in my own family and give my girls a positive outlook, we are having a positively hopeful dinner party for five. I want my three girls to be a part of this historic exciting time! We have planned:

  • Times a Changing Chili (in honor of Obama's favorite dish)
  • Stimulus Spuds Loaded Baked Potatoes...the ultimate comfort food
  • Politically Correct Pumpkin Pie ( another Obama favorite...just happens to be a fave in my house too)
  • Root Beer Hope Floats, because who doesn't feel better after a rot beer float?
I am also having each member of my family write down one hope they have for our country in the coming years.

— Dana Dornburgh from Holland Patent, New York

I was supposed to be at the inauguration, but because of family illness I am staying in Savannah. We are planning a significant event. Our studio will be transformed into the Oval Office with a costume party of our guest's favorite presidents! (Should be interesting.) It's going to be a memorable night. I hope everyone remembers their costume and blue margaritas!

— Jeremy Martinez from Savannah, Georgia

In honor of this moment in history, my husband and I are having a "Preinauguration Prayer and Celebration Brunch" on Sunday, January 18. We have asked everyone to wear their Obama gear and come prepared to pray for the Obama family, our country and the world. Our colors are red, white and blue. We have hired an omelet chef to make made-to-order omelets and waffles. 

As a special treat for our guests, we purchased a 6-foot cutout of President Obama. Everyone will leave with a picture with the 44th president of the United States!

— Nicci Parrish from Upper Marlboro, Maryland

My 5 1/2 year-old son, Kyle, wants to be the kindergarten news reporter for the inauguration, so we're off to D.C. on January 17. Kyle's been making practice videos where he explains in kids' terms about the inauguration. (He says it like an assembly at school, but for the president). At 5, he expresses very well his heartfelt belief that children should know about their government. The questions he asks about how things work would blow you away. Kyle loves to watch Anderson Cooper (on appropriate stories) to learn how to report the news. I love doing that with him.

Kyle was so interested in the election and asked such probing questions about our leaders and our government that I cashed in frequent-flier miles and got tickets for he and I to go from Arizona to D.C. for the inauguration experience (my sister has a studio apartment on Capitol Hill). We don't have tickets to any events, and while I was so tempted to try and get parade tickets from a scalper (because Kyle really wants to "report" on the parade), the idea of feeding the exploiters seems to taint the purity of this occasion and his genuine excitement about it. Instead, I hope to capture his "news reports" out and about the crowd, edit them and post them online. He will also share them with his school.

I can't wait to experience America's big day through his eyes! His enthusiasm is contagious. We return to Arizona on January 21, after which I am blessed to start a new job after being laid off on January 9. Change for me, change for the country...with God's blessings, all good, I am convinced.

— Catherine Bowman from Mesa, Arizona

My plan is simple—a two-person bash. My husband and I are going to watch every possible moment on television. We can't get away to the actual event, but quite honestly I think we'll see more by staying put and watching. We'll pet the cats and dog—Poppy, Maury and Ralphie—drink some hot tea and just enjoy the luxury of seeing the event pass before our eyes. We'll have our cell phones and call friends and relatives from time to time to see if they're watching and to share our enthusiasm. Of course we'll call our son, Barry. We will enjoy seeing people from around the world celebrate too. 

Boring? Probably for many folks. But for us this is going to be the party of our lives and we wouldn't miss it for anything...even if a few thousand miles separate us from the live event. Rock on Obama family! We'll be there right with you.

— Susan Klopfer from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

My daughter's Cadette Girl Scout troop, Troop 6914 in Bowie, Maryland, is having an inaugural celebration as the girls earn the American Patriotism Interest Project Patch Award. I will be leading the girls in a variety of activities, including learning about constitutional amendments, understanding the various cabinet selections that the president-elect has made (and the career paths of the nominees), how technology has changed the way we vote in the United States, the voting process in general, writing letters to Barack Obama on what we think his priorities should be from our perspective and writing letters of appreciation to the servicemen and women serving abroad.

We will celebrate with food and fun in addition to watching a recording of his acceptance speech on November 4. We have invited the president-elect and his family, especially his daughters, to introduce them to the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital and to welcome them to Washington, D.C. Whether we receive a response or not, we are all so excited and are looking forward to having a grand time!

— Carla Partloe from Glenn Dale, Maryland

Need more inspiration? Try these reipes for your inauguration bash!