Before You Head to the Inaugural Festivities …

Before You Head to the Inaugural Festivities …

With only three days to go until the word “elect” becomes obsolete for President-elect Barack Obama, there are several things to considering before heading out to the ceremony and other festivities. Here are a few things you should know as you venture out to become part of history:



Several streets will be closed inauguration weekend, beginning today and ending on Obama’s first day as president. Those traveling throughout the area are advised to walk and/or take public transportation if traveling in the vicinity of the Capitol and the Washington Mall.

Travelers are also advised to arrive early for the ceremony and parades. Reports indicate that Security officials will count the number of spectators arriving for the parade, and when the crowd reaches capacity, they will begin to turn people away. Officials say crowds could reach capacity well before the parade begins between 2:30 and 3 p.m.

The Secret Service released a map that shows about 3.5 square miles of downtown Washington closed to traffic, according to reports, starting mid-afternoon on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration. For a complete list of street closures, visit the District of Columbia’s Website.
Surrounding states, such as Maryland and Virginia, also provide information via the Web on travel and the best ways to get to the inaugural events.
There are also other maps available to help you navigate.

Schedule of Events

As part of tradition, there will be a plethora of events part of inauguration weekend, starting with an opening celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 18 and ending with a national prayer service.

Click here for a detailed list of official events going on during the inaugural weekend. The Presidential Inauguration Committee even has options for people to participate and enjoy all that is inaugural weekend without even being in Washington! Celebrate with your neighbors, just as the president-elect will at the Neighborhood Ball, by hosting your own shindig or attending a local event.

Here are some other helpful links for knowing more about events taking place during the weekend:

Presidential Inaugural Committee

Receive Updates

Events Map

Line up of Celebrity Performers


Extended Bar Hours

In celebrating the inauguration, many will be hitting up local bars and nightclubs to continue the revelry. And there are 213 bars, restaurants, and nightclubs registered with the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. and, possibly, stay open round-the-clock Jan. 17 to 21, according to reports.

Cheers everyone!

Guidebook to Commemorate History

The PIC has a wonderful inaugural guidebook that includes biographies of Michelle and Barack Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, information about parade participants, places to see in D.C., and other important information. You can even download it and listen.

Other Advisories

As with any outdoor event, participants are advised to eat before they venture out, be aware of their surroundings and