I don't know. I'm more of an Obama person than not, and add that I am somewhat perilously happy so far. The whole inauguration extravaganza for any presidency seems berserk to me, from either party, or parties.
I see this one as popularist, which has its pros and cons, a great expense to the government and a trial for the city, pretty damn risky security wise, and with potential for a lot of chilled and semitrapped people. Not to mention the clean up. I hope I am wrong.
Parades have been long been part of the Inauguration Day tradition. After his second swearing-in, Jefferson rode from the Capitol to the president's house on horseback, surrounded by mechanics from the nearby navy yard and a military band.
Larger and larger parades have been the rule ever since, with the notable exception in 1829 of Andrew Jackson's inauguration. Mourning the death of his wife, Rachel, Jackson rejected the idea of a parade in favour of a stroll to the Capitol.
Dwight D Eisenhower's first inauguration in 1953 was the longest ever. It included 73 bands, 59 floats and horses and elephants and lasted four-and-a-half hours.
The theme of this year's event is "Celebrating Freedom and Honouring Service" and will pay particular tribute the US military, with many of the 11,000 participants having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The parade of floats, marching bands and military brigades will last two hours and Mr Bush himself will travel the route in Cadillac's newest DTS limousine model, on show for the first time.
I wish I could afford the cost to travel across country to be there in person for this historic moment for my country; one I helped make possible.
I'm looking forward to seeing what my small donations to the inaugration committee's fund helped pay for.
January 20th can't get here fast enough. I'll be joining in on the local celebrations here in the neighborhood.
The Presidential Inaugural Parade honoring the swearing in of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will march in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day, which is Tuesday, January 20, 2009. Below is the list of confirmed parade participants to date.
Mobile Azalea Trail Maids, AL
Siloam Springs High School Band, AR
Mountain Ridge High School Pride of the West Marching Band, AZ
Redwood Middle School marching Band and Auxilary Units, CA
The Freedom Riders, CO
Windsor High School Marching Band, CO
Trumbull High School Golden Eagle Marching Band, CT
Howard University Marching Band, DC
Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School Marching Band, DC
Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Association, DE
Delaware State University Marching Band, DE
Alexis duPont High School Band, DE
University of Delaware Fightin Blue Hen Marching Band, DE
Refurbished 1965 DC Metropolitan Police Department cruiser, DE
Florida A&M University Marching 100 Band, FL
JP Taravella High School Band, FL
South Cobb High School Blue Eagle Marching Band, GA
Punahou School Marching Band, HI
Punahou School JROTC, HI
Isiserettes Drill Corps, IA
The Jesse White Tumbling Team, IL
The World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola, IL
Morton High School Marching Band, IL
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Navy JROTC, IL
Carl Sandburg High School Marching Eagles, IL
Angel Drill Team, IL
The Tempel Lipizzans of Tempel Farms, IL
The Culver Academies, IN
Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard, First Infantry Division, Fort Riley KS, KS
Prevention Partnership, Warren County, KY Sheriff’s Office, KY
Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band, LA
54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Company A Band, MA
54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, MA
Comfort Carriages, MD
Sanford High School Marching Band, ME
Michigan’s Mounted Police Drill Team and Color Guard, MI
Wyandotte Marching Chiefs, MI
Fergus Falls High School Marching Band, MN
Theodore Roosevelt High School Marine Corps JROTC Color Guard and Drill Team, MO
Blue Springs High School Golden Regiment Marching Band, MO
Petal High School Marching Band, MS
Crow Nation of Montana, MT
Harding University High School Marching Band of Gold, NC
Adams Central High School Patriot Band, NE
Londonderry High School Marching Lancer Band and Color Guard, NH
Bonnie Brae Knights, NJ
Espanola Valley High School Mariachi Band, NM
Green Valley High School Marching Band, NV
Brooklyn Music and Arts Program, NY
Lesbian and Gay Band Association, NY
Southern Ohio Ladies Aside, OH
Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums, OH
The Ohio State University Marching Band, OH
Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, OK
The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, PA
Boy Scouts of America, Troop 358, PA
North Allegheny High School Tiger Marching Band, PA
East Greenwich High School, RI
Manning High School Golden Pride Marching Band, SC
McCrossan Boys Ranch, SD
University of Tennessee, TN
Carnaval de San Anto, The URBAN 15 Group, TX
Klein Collins High School Air Force JROTC, TX
Virgina Military Corps of Cadets (Band), VA
Hampton University Marching Force, VA
T.C. Williams High School Army Band, VA
Brattleboro Union High School Band, VT
Evergreen High School Marching Band, WA
Oneida Nation Veterans, WI
Nicholas County Army JROTC,WV
Peace Corps Community, NASA, Special Olympics, and Americorps Alums have also been invited.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17
President-Elect Barack Obama will board a train in Philadelphia en route to DC for his inauguration. He will then stop in Wilmington, DE to pick up Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and for a celebration in Baltimore.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18th
The Inauguration Opening Celebration will take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and feature star performers like Mary J. Blige, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, Denzel Washington, and many more. It will be free and open to the public.
MONDAY, JANUARY 19th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
President-Elect Obama is transforming the MLK holiday into a national day of community service called "Renew America Together." They are encouraging you to day give back to the nation. They intend to volunteer, too. Learn more through the Renew America Together website.
Bi-Partisan Dinners Honoring McCain, Powell, and Biden
A series of dinners honoring these Americans and hosted by President-Elect. They'll take place at the National Building Museum, Union Station, and the Hilton Washington. Tickets will be required.
There will also be a free youth concert in the evening at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington. You'll need a ticket to get in, though.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 20th - Inauguration Day
The Obamas and the Bidens and their families will participate in the inaugural ceremonies and the traditional events, including the swearing-in ceremony on the West Front of the United States Capitol, a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, the 56th Inaugural Parade, and official Inaugural Balls. They announced the list of Inauguration 2009 Honorary Co-Chairs.
They've also announced that, for the first time in history, the entire length of the National Mall will be open to the public to allow as many people as possible to participate in this historic day.
Inauguration Day - Order of Events
Formal Program begins at 11:30 a.m. EST
The United States Marine Band
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA
Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
The Honorable John Paul Stevens
Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet
Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr. | Related: Text of the Oath of Office
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama | Related: Barack Obama Speech about Abraham Lincoln
Elizabeth Alexander | Related: Elizabeth Alexander Q & A About Poets in the Age of Obama
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"
After the ceremony is completed, President Obama will attend the traditional Inaugural Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol following the departure ceremony for George W. Bush.
After this luncheon, according to tradition, President Obama and Vice President Biden will lead the Inaugural Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The President, Vice President, and their wives and guests review the parade from a special platform.
Neighborhood Inaugural Ball
President Barack Obama has initiated this ball as the first-ever during an Inauguration. It will be the "premiere" ball of the Inaugural Day evening events. It will be held at the Washington Convention Center. Tickets will be free or offered at an "affordable" price. The ball will include webcasting and text messaging and other interactive components. It will be the first ball that Barack and Michelle attend. It will be broadcast on ABC TV.
This ball will be held at the National Building Museum. Invited guests will include enlisted active duty and reserve military.
Youth Inaugural Ball
This ball will be for young Americans ages 18 to 35. Tickets will be $75 per invited guest. It will be held at the Washington Hilton.
Obama Home States Inaugural Ball
Invited Illinois and Hawaii friends and invited guests attend this ball. Tickets are $150. It will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Biden Home States Inaugural Ball
Invited Delaware and Pennsylvania guests attend here. Also at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. $150 per ticket for invited guests.
Eastern States Inaugural Ball Invited guests from CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI will celebrate at Union Station. $150 per ticket for invited guests.
Mid-Atlantic States Inaugural Ball
Invited guests from MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, WV, and Dems Abroad at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. $150 per ticket for invited guests.
Southern States Inaugural Ball
Invited guests from AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX will celebrate at the National Guard Armory. $150 per ticket for invited guests.
Western States Inaugural Ball
Invited guests from AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS will celebrate at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. $150 per ticket for invited guests.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21st
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will attend the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. Reverand Dr. Sharon Watkins will give the sermon. She is with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).