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Inaugural No-Nos: Strollers, Coolers, Backpacks and More...

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has posted on its Web site a number of tips to keep in mind for those planning on attending the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony and parade. Among the list of items banned from the festivities are baby strollers, coolers, backpacks, thermoses, umbrellas and signs. Go here for the full list and other tips about what to wear and what to expect.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 2, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  | Category:  Parade , Swearing-in Ceremony
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Comments



The Inaugural website doesn't lay out what the actual ticketed area is.

For example, can an un-ticketed person "view" (or at least be present for) the ceremony somewhere on the mall?

Posted by: skonesam | December 2, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

the "...full list and tips..." section was very clearly written and rewritten by the department of redundancy department. perhaps the simians were having a bad day. how many words were wasted repeating: "Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system. A vast majority of attendees will be in standing room sections and should be prepared to be on their feet for several hours." got blest ham, erica

Posted by: bnglfn | December 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the site is remarkably uninformative, given that 90%+ of the "attendees" at the inauguration will not have tickets.

What's truly scary is the possibility that there is no information for "non-ticketed" spectators because there is no firm plan yet.

Unless Inauguration planners really start developing a serious plan for dealing with the crowd of 1-2 million, I fear that we will have great potential for mass casualties due to crowd crushes and cold injuries.

Freezing rain, a crowd of 1 million necessarily penned up outdoors for crowd-control and security reasons -- these add up to a disaster scenario. To this layman's eyes, there's no way this event can be made reasonably safe if the crowd is as big as anticipated.

Hopefully, the tragic Walmart stampede has prompted the planners to be more serious about crowd control. In New York, we saw a stampede death in a crowd of only 2000. The planned DC crowd will be 1000 times bigger.

Posted by: DupontJay | December 2, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the terrorists have won. No unbrellas, no thermoses, no nothing. Why in the world would anyone submit to this crap when they can watch, if they want to, on tv?

Hand it to bid Laden, he won.

Posted by: girard73 | December 2, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

'DuPontJay' is correct regarding the need for information for the 90% of attendees without tickets (about 2 million people).

The potential for disaster is in fact great. A few simple pieces of info would make all the difference.

Why can't WaPo clarify the following points for this non-ticketed group?

1. Map of the Mall, Capitol and WH area showing roughly where non-ticketed attendees will be allowed to stand. If you can't provide parade route specifics, at least show the larger Mall area. Clearly, everyone will not be able to se the parade. What are the alternatives?
2. Include Metro Stations and OPEN/CLOSED indicator on same map. Also, show Metro stations that might be walkable but not right on the Mall.
3. Provide some actual photos taken from a few of these non-ticketed areas so we can understand how bad the sightline actual is. Example: if you stand at the Lincoln Memorial, the back of the capitol looks like .......
4. Do the "Inaugural No-No's" apply to non-ticketed areas?
5. Where will jumbo-tron TVs be located?
6. Where will PA systems be located? Can I hear if I am standing at the Lincoln Memorial?
7. When will Jesus arrive to feed the crowd -- since it seems impossible to bring more than a granola bar and a bottle of water.
8. For the non-ticketed, what is happening around the Mall on Jan 18, 19 & 21? If anything. What is closed on these days?

Posted by: David_in_MI | December 2, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Sounds as if the inagural committees and the DC officials are about to turn the mall into one gigantic penitentiary on Jan 20th 2009. If they are only going to issue 250,000 tickets. What's to become of the other anticipated millions expected to show up. With the list of prohibited items longer than a grocery store list on sat morning, why bother even showing up. This is probably going to be President-elect Obama's biggest crowd to date.A suggestion why not establish other venues where people can view the ceremonies on giant tv's. It's incumbent upon the organizers to think it through. They are going to have to strike a balance between legitimate crowd control and security concerns. At the same time providing a meaningful experience for thousands upon thousands of people who will be coming to the district most of them without tickets or credentials. It's certainly going to be a challenge. Remember the whole world will be watching.

Posted by: edhenson | December 2, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

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