A huge tent has been pitched on the White House lawn to accommodate 400 guests at Barack Obama's first state dinner.Alhough Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to attend, top Republican congressional leaders are not invited. See the Washington Times, "Top Republican Lawmakers Not Invited to State Dinner."
An invitation to the event on Tuesday evening has become the most sought-after ticket in the US.
The event, in honour of the visiting Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is a chance for Mr Obama and his wife Michelle to welcome the Washington elite - and a smattering of Hollywood celebrities - into their new home.
Whereas President George W. Bush would hold his 140-person dinners in the formal state dining room, the Obamas have broken with recent tradition by taking a "big tent" approach that will accommodate 400.
Secrecy surrounds the event with the White House jealously guarding details of the guest list and menu, though produce from Mrs Obama's new vegetable garden is expected to be used and curry is suspected by some to be on the menu for the first time.
Deepak Chopra, the billionaire pioneer in New Age spirituality, announced on Twitter that he would be flying to Washington to attend and was "V honored to be invited".
Oprah Winfrey, the talk show hostess, is strongly rumoured to have been invited and there is speculation that George Clooney and Brad Pitt will attend what has been dubbed "Washington's equivalent of the Oscars".
According to the well-connected Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, the former DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg will be at the dinner.
Even Senator John McCain's not invited, and that's after Obama claimed to want a new era of bipartisanship in America.
RELATED: "Let’s Face It: Obama Is No Post-Partisan."