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Obama to Hold Free Inaugural Concert for Youth

Kids will rock at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today that a free concert for children will be held at the Verizon Center on Jan. 19, the night before Obama gets sworn in and later treks down Pennsylvania Avenue for the inaugural parade.

Tickets will be required. The committee will release more information about how to get them in the coming weeks. The lineup of acts is pending.

The concert marks another effort to create a wide-reaching five days of events, beginning with Obama’s train ride from Philadelphia to Washington on Jan. 17 and ending on Jan. 21 with a traditional prayer service.

The committee also officially announced more details about the welcome ceremony on Jan. 18, confirming that it will be held at the Lincoln Memorial to honor the 16th president. “Sunday’s welcome event and Monday’s concert will continue President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden’s commitment to hold an Inauguration that is open, accessible and reflects a spirit of unity for Americans of all ages,” the announcement reads.

There will also be an event on the National Mall in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day during the day Jan. 19, National Park Service assistant police chief Sal Lauro said Thursday.

The inauguration has taken on a Lincoln theme as the former Illinois senator follows the same path as the 16th president. Lincoln also took an inaugural train ride.

But the inauguration is also shaping up to be Clinton-esque.

President Bill Clinton, like Obama, attracted celebrities, and he created a five-day celebration that included a concert on the National Mall on the Sunday before the 1993 inauguration.

An estimated 300,000 people attended Clinton’s Sunday welcome, called “America’s Reunion on the Mall” and featuring Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, LL Cool J, Kathleen Battle and others. Clinton also held two children’s programs.

President George Bush also had a free concert that included Charlotte Church and Ricky Martin.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  December 19, 2008; 11:42 AM ET  | Category:  Entertainment , Youth
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