Artwork courtesy of Philipp Kuecuekyan.
Like many people across the country, my boyfriend and I are planning to travel to Washington D.C. January 20th to witness President-Elect Barack Obama being sworn in as our country's 44th president. And, like the other 3 to 5 million making plans, there are many looming questions:
- Where to stay? (Is there anything left?)
- How to get there? (Rent a car for the day from NYC or take the train so we don't have to worry about parking?)
- What time should we arrive?
- How close can we get and what events will be going on in D.C. to mark the occasion? (Does it really matter, though? We just want to be part of this important day.)
There is no need to ask why go. It's just a given to us that we should be part of this historic day. That decision was decided election night and the desire to attend was intensified knowing that the national day to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday is the day before. Now we just need to figure out the logistics. Below are a few details about the big day. See you there!
- Inauguration theme: A New Birth of Freedom (commemorates the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth)
- Location: West Front of the U.S. Capitol
- Gate open at 10 A.M.
- Musical prelude begins at 10 A.M.
- The President will be sworn in by 12 noon. (From the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website: Amendment XX to the U.S. Constitution states that the term of the President expires at noon on January 20.
Image of Earl Stafford of the People's Inaugural Project courtesy of CNN.com.
Please look at the following websites to find up-to-date information about the Inauguration
- Presidential Inaugural Committee: Inauguration schedule, ticket information, email updates: pic2009.org
- Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies: Provides scheduling, parade, traffic, weather, and general logistic information (this includes parties and balls): inaugural.senate.gov/index.cfm
- Virginia businessman Earl Stafford plans to help people attend the inauguration through the People's Inaugural Project organized by his non-profit The Stafford Foundation. His guests will stay at the Washington D.C. JW Marriott Hotel in addition to attending several inaugural events. According to the website Marketwatch, Stafford said in a statement, "The People's Inaugural Project offers the underprivileged in our society a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come to our nation's capital and join in the watershed inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. It's a historic investment for our foundation."
- Expedia.com has dedicated a portion of its website to inauguration travel. Here you'll find travel tips, hotel information, free activities and trivia tailored for Washington D.C.'s big day.