Can't Get Inauguration Tickets? See the Rehearsal Instead
Washington Post staff writer Michael E. Ruane filed this report:
Can’t get tickets to the inauguration? No hotel rooms to be had that week? No problem, people. Avoid the crowds and the traffic and the expense, and check out the inaugural rehearsal.
It’s scheduled for Jan. 11, and you can watch the whole thing twice that day.
Few of the VIPs will be present -- they are portrayed by stand-ins wearing name placards -- and there won’t be an inaugural address, but you can’t have it all.
Just tell the grandkids you saw the simulated first family, the simulated swearing in, and the simulated parade.
In tradition-bound Washington, the inauguration rehearsal is itself a tradition. It’s traditionally on a Sunday, and traditionally early: 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. this time.
It is staged by the military, congressional and presidential inaugural committees to make sure that all goes well for the real inauguration on Jan. 20.
Although many details of the inauguration are still being worked out, several hundred members of the military, perhaps including bands, probably will participate in the rehearsal of the swearing in at the west front of the Capitol and the parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, officials have indicated.
Thomas Groppel, the director of ceremonies for the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, told a group of military officials at a recent briefing that the plan is to run through the program twice that day.
“The first time, we’ll start and stop,” he said. “If we make mistakes we’ll stop and correct ourselves and go back. The second time ..... we’ll do it all the way through,” he said. “Everybody by then will know the entire program.”
Some parts of the rehearsal might be in restricted areas of the Capitol, officials said. But the event is traditionally open to the public, military committee spokeswoman Army Capt. Meritt Phillips said.
David A Nakamura
November 25, 2008; 1:34 PM ET
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