Monday, January 19, 2009

Attending the Inaugural

Scroll down and you'll find a few posts here about planning for attending the inaugural, including what you can't bring, DC metro station closings, DC traffic &street webcams (where are the crowds & what's going on), and some parade info.

But here's a reminder & update attending tomorrow. You really have two options. Getting there early is critical for both. If you've got a ticket to the swearing in, you can get in, but might end up sitting behind a tree). If you are at the swearing in, you WILL NOT have an option of getting to a good spot along the parade route. It just isn't going to be physically possible. So it's a choice. Swearing in or parade. Unless you pick option #3 - park yourself on the mall or someplace with a jumbotron and watch both that way.

Why is getting there early important? We learned that yesterday from Mark & others going to the concert. If you got there early enough, you made it through the check point. If you didn't, there were too many people in the area already & check points closed down, and nobody else got in.

Some people have tickets to the parade. If you don't, it just means you don't get to sit in the bleachers. Even if you have a ticket, if you don't get there early, then you may not get in at all. Having a ticket does NOT = getting past security entrances if they've decided the area is full.

This is the Post's parade route & info map. It can be found here at their site, or click for a blow up of the image in the blog. The tiny purple circles are the entrance points. Check to see how crowded that area is on DC's traffic map here if you want before heading down. Nobody knows where or when our new Prez might get out of the car to walk the route, but going by history, odds are best in the 7th to 10th street blocks. Remember that the odds will be good you're going to be standing on the sidewalk behind folks who are at least 3-4" taller than you, no matter how tall you are. So be prepared for lots of peering through shoulders and holding cameras up over your head for shots of the parade.

But for all the craziness, inconvience and chance that you won't even see Obama, you will have been there, been part of it, and nobody can take that away from you. So dress warmly, be patient, be prepared, and have fun. This will be a day to remember.


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