Chicagoans like to have no small plans. Neither does Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. His swearing in on May 16th resembles a mini White House Inaugural. Ward Room has learned the Inaugural Committee has planned quite a soiree.
They've arranged for a Grant Park concert the Saturday before the Monday swearing-in (performer still unknown), and later that night they’ll host a reception and dinner, planned by Venue One. Both events will charge a fee.
The Emanuel team promises the actual swearing in at Grant Park will be "free, open and accessible."
However for those who have very big bucks -- there will be a VIP reception, dinner and “preferred” seating.
Spend $50,000 and you’ll get VIP tickets to the Grant Park Concert, four tickets to the Saturday reception and dinner and four VIP tickets for the actual swearing in. $5,000 gets you two VIP tickets to that Grant Park concert and two tickets to the reception, but no dinner and two reserved tickets at the Inauguration.
In 1989 Mayor Richard Daley's first Inauguration was quite an event but no one was charged for his or her seat at the swearing in.
The mayor elect by email tells Ward Room.
"The whole goal of the inaugural is something for the city, and every neighborhood and every resident to celebrate and to mark the turning of the page and the reset button as we deal with the challenges of making sure the city grows economically, we are producing the type of jobs where everybody will have a chance to succeed at and we have a school system in which our kids are ready to go to college or into the job market. The inaugural will highlight what the election was all about."
But once the party is over, lots of folks want to know how is the City Council and Emanuel going to get along.
Mayor Richard Daley, won't weigh in and says "I don't know about that, that's their problem, not mine."