More Inauguration Frenzy

December 09, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Apparently, all y'all are coming to Washington, DC next month. Well, maybe not you, but the predictions for the inaugural crowds are staggering. The news tonight suggested that four to five million people may attend the inauguration of President-elect Obama. Four to five million!

This will be the single biggest event ever held in Washington! Those of you who become ticket holders will be the closest to the swearing in ceremony on the West Front of the US Capitol--and you'll be in with 239,999 of your new best friends.

The riffraff section will be the National Mall, as the National Park Service has decided to open it up to you. The Mall is the two mile stretch of land between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, that houses, among others, some of the museums of the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, WII Memorial, Vietnam Wall, and Reflecting Pool (that's the water that Jenny ran across when Forrest Gump was "speaking" at the Lincoln Memorial.)

So, you could be the chump who ends up two miles away from the swearing-in ceremony. No worries, mate! They are going to have giant television screens all around for you to see.

You won't be able to park anywhere near the Mall--and the City is trying to find places to park more than 10,000 charter busses. RFK Stadium only holds 1,700 busses--now they just need to find parking for 8,300 more! Most inbound roads will be closed and it is expected that Metro will do most of the people moving. You'll want to get an early start for the festivities, which begin at 10 a.m. President Bush's term expires at noon on January 20th, and President-elect Obama will have to be sworn in before then.

A couple issues the City is trying to work out is whether or not busses will be able to get close enough for people to walk to the Mall; and whether or not there will be so many cell phones that day that the towers are overwhelmed. (Personally, I'd be worried about how many Port-A-Potties are needed for four to five million people!)

The weather in January here in our nation's capitol is typically cold--and sometimes wet. 37 degrees is the norm at noon around here. If it rains, umbrellas are not permitted within the security perimeter. The Park Service is recommending ponchos and rain coats. Expect to be standing for about three hours. I'd bring a blanket, you will be cold!

This is Taft and Roosevelt riding to the Capitol in 1909. The horses do not look happy!

Hotel rooms are hard to come by. The City did say that some 4,500 rooms have been put back into inventory for sale, since people who had reserved them did not pay the required deposits in time. Homes, apartments, and floor space are being offered by many, including one of my friend's. (Her one bedroom apartment, four blocks from the Metro will be posted for rent in the next few days--if you are interested, let me know.) The average hotel room rate around here is $650 a night--but, you probably won't find many at that bargain price now.

Hotels and restaurants are bringing in extra help to take care of their guests. The City has hired an additional 4,000 police officers from other cities to lend a hand while y'all are here. They will need that since the DC City Council voted to extend "Last Call" by another two hours. That's right! You and your friends can drink until five in the morning! Woo-hoo! (Well, it is history being made! Party on, Garth!)

As for me, I hope to be comfortably curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace, remote control in hand. Y'all take pictures, okay?

Update: Historic event party-goers may have to get their drink on by 3:00 a.m. Feinstein and Bennett propose poopin' on the party:

Senator Dianne Feinstein... and Senator Bob urged the Mayor and City Council of Washington, DC to reverse the emergency legislation passed last week to allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol until 5 am during the week of the inauguration. “We have reached out....because of our grave concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation,” said Senator Feinstein. “What is clearly meant as a boon to local businesses may instead create tremendous problems for already overwhelmed law enforcement agencies.”“Security needs to be the number one priority during the Inaugural ceremonies and extending the sale of alcohol until 5 a.m. in D.C. will only divert law enforcement resources away from their primary focus on security measures and crowd safety,” said Senator Bennett.

High five to the Senators. As my mother used to say, nothing good ever happens after 3 in the morning. (Okay, my Mom used to say midnight, but, she was old school!)

Update on the update: Looks like Mayor Fenty is going ahead and allowing the bars to stay open until 5 a.m. Makes me glad I live in Virginia!



2 What's YOUR view? Click here to comment, please!

Write What's YOUR view? Click here to comment, please!
flying mum
December 9, 2008 at 10:02 PM delete

I have family that live in the District and they are debating on whether or not to all stay at one place and then rent out their remaining places and split the loot. Crazy! I was living in DC when Bush was first inaugurated (and got fantastic seats at the swearing in)...I lived just down the street from the Supreme Court building. It was crazy then but I can't imagine this inaug!

Mom in 2
December 10, 2008 at 8:16 PM delete

Don't think I'd want to be there but pray for fluffy snow for Hollywood's big parade.