Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Beyond the itinerary for the Obama inauguration, there is the issue of scheduling. There will be multiple events planned around the DC area to celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th president of the United States. To avoid the crowds, travelers should plan to take part of this historic event from home. The inauguration will be televised. You may also enjoy the inauguration in person, keeping the following in mind.
Washington DC Metro
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will begin service on January 20, 2009 at 4 a.m.
Getting to the Inauguration
Driving to the inauguration is not advised. Take chartered transportation like a bus or make use of the Washington, DC metro. You may also consider hiking or biking into the city from a nearby location.
Gates to the inauguration open at 9 a.m. This time applies only to the ticketed section of the National Mall. You may arrive earlier to find seating in the general areas of the Mall, if you desire, though camping out overnight is not advised and may be prohibited. The president will be sworn in by noon on January 20.
Following the president’s lunch, the inaugural parade will begin. It is expected to start between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and to last for 2 to 3 hours. Plan to arrive several hours early. Limited, ticketed seating will be available. Once you have entered the seating area, you will not be permitted to return if you must leave.
If you have ticketed access to any outdoor inauguration event, note that umbrellas are not permitted. Consider ponchos, rain bonnets, and hats instead.
Prohibited Items to Ticketed Events
Large bags, sticks or poles, animals, posters, signs, coolers, strollers, duffel bags, mace, pepper spray, firearms, explosives, and any other items security officials may deem a threat to safety or security.