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Archive: January 11, 2009 - January 17, 2009

Clarification: Celebrating a Journey Inaugural Ball to Start at 8 p.m.

Inauguration Watch was contacted by the organizers of the "Celebrating a Journey Inaugural Ball," who said their event was listed with the wrong starting time in a Washington Post weekend section. The correct time is Monday from 8 p.m. to...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 10:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration Watch Video: Springsteen Warms up the Crowd

He was barely visible on the stage in front of the Lincoln Memorial today, a distant image who was noticeable mostly for the bright red scarf he was wearing. But when he strummed the guitar and led a chorus...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 5:37 PM ET | Comments (2)

Inaugural Visitors Land at Area Airports

REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT -- The first big crowd to hit Reagan National Airport showed up just after 1 p.m., when several hundred students from a youth inaugural conference landed at the same time. They packed into the United baggage claim...

By Washington Post Editors | January 17, 2009; 3:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Pass-Through' Town Doesn't Pass Up History

HAVRE DE GRACE, MD -- Nobody in this town expected President-elect Obama's whistle-stop train tour to pause here today -- the slowdown was set for Edgewood, 16 miles west along the honky-tonk ribbon of U.S. Route 40 -- and it...

By Washington Post Editors | January 17, 2009; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Concert Rehearsal on Mall Now

The A-list musical acts that will perform Sunday in Barack Obama's free welcome concert on the Mall, including Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and Stevie Wonder, are reportedly rehearsing now at the Lincoln Memorial....

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

15 Hours, 4 Flights Get 107 to D.C.

It took more than 15 hours and four separate flights for all 107 Centerville Junior High School students and chaperones to travel from California's Bay Area to the District last night and today. After school yesterday, the group met at...

By Washington Post Editors | January 17, 2009; 3:38 PM ET | Comments (2)

For U.S. Senator, Inaugurations Recall Past, Inspire Future

As an eight-year-old, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) attended the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961 with his father. He has attended every inauguration since. In this washingtonpost.com video by Rebecca Davis, he reminisces about inaugurations past while...

By Washington Post Editors | January 17, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Scenes from the Mall: Saturday

There are 7,000 portable toilets on the mall, lined up shoulder to shoulder and snaking around the grounds. The picture above was taken today in front of the National Museum of American History. There are also a lot of...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

Share Your Photos!

You can share your photos of Inauguration festivities, starting with today's train trip and straight through the concerts, ceremonies, balls, parties and aftermath. We have two ways you can provide pics: A special gallery of photos from readers is here....

By Washington Post staff | January 17, 2009; 1:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inaugurating a Weekend of Celebrations

Last night was the first night of what for many will be a five-night weekend of celebrations in the D.C. area. So what was going on? Here's a report from The Sleuth: The Sleuth eased into a five-night spree of...

By Washington Post Editors | January 17, 2009; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration in Today's Post: Three Days to Go

How do you celebrate an historic milestone during a troubling time in the country's history? That's the challenge for Barack Obama's inauguration planners, reports Alec MacGillis in a front page story. He writes: "The official welcoming event in the District...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Save Darfur Coalition Planning Demonstration

Three hundreds activists from the Save Darfur Coalition will be demonstration outside Metro stations wearing green caps and yellow t-shirts that read: “End the Genocide: www.addyourvoice.org .” They will have signs and petitions calling on President-elect Obama to take action...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Park Service, City to Provide Aid Stations

Keeping warm on lnauguration will be an issue Tuesday. As a safety precaution against frostbite or hypothermia, the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have teamed up to station 16 first aid tents along...

By David A Nakamura | January 17, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Television Pays $5 Million for Broadcast Rights

This just in from the Associated Press (look for much more about this in tomorrow's Post): Television networks paid more than $5 million for exclusive rights to show events surrounding President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, including Sunday's Lincoln Memorial concert and...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 6:26 PM ET | Comments (5)

Dallas Pastor to Give Private Service for Obama

African-American megapastor T.D. Jakes will give the sermon at Obama's private worship service the morning of his inauguration, a source said. The Pentacostal minister pastors the 30,000-member Potter's House in Dallas, is a best-selling author, TV personality and movie producer....

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 6:19 PM ET | Comments (1)

Beyonce to Sing Etta James's 'At Last' for First Dance

This bulletin just in from the Associated Press about Beyonce, who we told you will sing for the Obamas' First Dance at the Neighborhood Ball Tuesday night. Beyonce has revealed the song she plans to serenade the Obamas with in...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 5:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Nightlife Update: 273 D.C. Bars Register Stay Open All Night

The final list is out and a total of 273 D.C. bars, restaurants and nightclubs have registered with the city to stay open all night and serve alcohol until 4 a.m. from Jan. 17-21. Here's the complete list with addresses....

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 5:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

National Prayer Service Lineup Announced

The clergy line-up for the National Prayer Service, a worship service held at 8 a.m. at the National Cathedral the day after president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, has been announced. Clergy members representing six different faith traditions in American life will...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 4:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

Readers Share Survival Tips

Post reporters aren't the only people with experience attending inaugurations. Many longtime Washingtonians and area visitors who have braved the elements and the crowds over the years responded to our call for advice on navigating an inauguration. Here are some...

By Washington Post Editors | January 16, 2009; 4:23 PM ET | Comments (4)

Ticket Pickup Begins at Convention Center, Then Bogs Down and Is Postponed

The line to pickup tickets at the Convention Center today. The Presidential Inaugural Committee and Ticketmaster began hand-issuing inauguration, parade and ball tickets at the Washington Convention Center, at 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, this morning. While Inauguration Watch...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (7)

Official Inaugural Ball Menus: Italian Chicken Roulade; Tortellini with Roasted Organic Tomato Cream Sauce

Greg Sharpe was hired as the executive chef at the Washington Convention Center shortly before George W. Bush's second inauguration. So he's had some practice with this. But Sharpe is under the gun to prepare a meal for 42,000 ball-goers...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

Obama Opens White House Wednesday; Sign Up Now!

President-elect Barack Obama is opening the White House doors Wednesday to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The Presidential Inaugural Committee sent out an e-mail today saying "If you are among the first to sign up today, you and...

By Nikita R Stewart | January 16, 2009; 2:47 PM ET | Comments (10)

42,000 Expected at Convention Center for Official Inaugural Balls

The cavernous Ballroom B, site of the Western Ball. Inauguration Watch was given a behind-the-scenes tour of preparation at the Washington Convention Center, where six official inaugural balls will be held Tuesday night. Officials from the Convention Center Authority said...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 2:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sources: Beyonce to Perform Song for Obamas' First Dance

Setup has begun for the Neighborhood Ball in Ballroom D at the Washington Convention Center. Inauguration Watch was told by a solid source today that Barack Obama has selected Beyonce to sing the song for the traditional First Dance, with...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 2:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

Remember, Get Survival Mobile Alerts

Sign up here for alerts on inauguration day that will help you get around, provide transportation updates and key logistics advice. You can receive them via SMS, Twitter or e-mail, and you can also provide information so that everyone benefits....

By Washington Post staff | January 16, 2009; 12:16 PM ET | Comments (3)

Answers from Police Chief Lanier

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier was online Friday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the security risks presented by the inauguration, how the city is preparing for the influx of visitors and what you need...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 16, 2009; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (4)

Saying Bye to Bush?

Post reporters are hearing rumblings that people are planning to gather outside the White House after Barack Obama's inaugural address to wave goodbye to President Bush, as he and wife Laura leave by helicopter after eight years at 1600 Pennsylvania...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

Ask Police Chief Lanier

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier will be online today at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the security risks presented by the inauguration, how the city is preparing for the influx of visitors and what you need to...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 16, 2009; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (3)

Inaugural Ball Watch: T.I., Fall Out Boy, Young Jeezy at Mayor Fenty's Inaugural Celebration

What: D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's Inaugural Celebration, benefitting D.C. Public Education Fund Who: Fall Out Boy, featuring performance by T.I. and Young Jeezy When: Sunday, 7 p.m. Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW Tickets: We are hearing it...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Print 'N' Save: Inaugural Media Guide

Follow all the action next week, with bios of the key players, detailed schedules, historical information and more in the official 121-page Inaugural Media Guide produced by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies....

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama on Inauguration: Logistics Will Be 'Very Difficult'

Barack Obama met with the Washington Post's top editors and reporters yesterday, and he revealed his plans to push for reform of Social Security and Medicaid programs and to hold a fiscal responsibility summit. But, try as they might, the...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Inauguration Stories In Today's Washington Post

Lots to read as we get closer to the big day. Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Hull checks in with the good folks in Brinkley, Ark., finding plenty who are not caught up in Obama-mania. A "sense of apprehension prevails in...

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

San Francisco Choirs to Sing to Song Set to Obama Victory Speech

Aretha Franklin will sing "My Country Tis of Thee" at Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony, while the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choirs wiill perform a half dozen numbers, including a new piece set to the words of Obama's victory speech....

By David A Nakamura | January 16, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Don't Try To See Obama At Union Station

If you were planning to catch a glimpse of President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday evening when he ends his historic train ride from Philadelphia to the District, forget about seeing him at Union Station. “It’s going to be a closed...

By Nikita R Stewart | January 15, 2009; 6:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

D.C. Extends Tour Bus Registration

Charter buses now have until Saturday to register with the D.C. government for a parking space in the city during Barack Obama's inauguration on Tuesday. Bus companies can register here....

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 6:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

RFK Stadium Parking for Sunday Concert to Cost $15

The District will allow cars to park at RFK Stadium for $15 Sunday and provide a free shuttle bus to and from the National Mall for Barack Obama's welcome concert at the Lincoln Memorial, which begins at 2:30 p.m. Buses...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 6:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

D.C. Mayor: I May Stop by Neighborhood Ball

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) dropped by the Washington Post newsroom this evening, about two hours after Barack Obama left, to appear on Washington Post Live, a sports-related television show on Comcast. Fenty was asked about his plans for...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 5:53 PM ET | Comments (1)

Faces in the Crowd: Caitlin Ross

Six hundred thirty-four days ago, Caitlin Ross first stenciled Barack Obama's name on a poster before a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In five more, she'll stand on the Mall and watch him be sworn in as president. The 21-year-old...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 15, 2009; 5:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Muslim, Jewish Leaders to Appear at Prayer Service

Lots of details still aren't known about the full list of events for Inauguration Week and even the planning around worship services is top secret at this inaugural. But some details are finally coming out about the national prayer service...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (1)

At First Lunch, the Wrong Cake?

The menu planned for President Obama's first lunch as "The Chief" certainly looks sumptuous, as it features: ... a first course of seafood stew (with sauvignon blanc from Duckhorn Vineyards), a second course of pheasant and duck with sour cherry...

By Washington Post Editors | January 15, 2009; 4:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Anne Arundel County (Md.) Bars Could Stay Open Extra Hour

An emergency bill is making its way through the Maryland legislature to allows bars in Anne Arundel County to stay open an hour later than usual in the early morning hours after President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday. The legislation was...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 4:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Need a Limo Ride? Get a Permit

VIPs stars will jet into Washington and politicians and corporate big-wigs will glide about town for dozens of Inauguration events. That is, if their hired drivers get permission to drive them around. Hundreds of out-of-state limousine drivers are waiting outside...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 4:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Help Us Help You Survive Inauguration Day

Area officials expect big crowds and lots of traffic on Inauguration Day. We'd like to make surviving the day as easy as possible, so we're asking for your help. The T-Mobile G1. (AP Photo.) On Jan. 20, we're hoping that...

By Washington Post Editors | January 15, 2009; 4:21 PM ET | Comments (2)

Judge: References to God Okay During Inauguration

A federal judge moments ago cleared the way for government officials and ministers to pray and make references to God during the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton refused to grant an injunction...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 4:21 PM ET | Comments (5)

More Federal Buildings Open as 'Rest Stops' on Inauguration Day

Federal officials today announced that several government buildings along the inaugural parade route will remain open to the public on Tuesday, providing warmth and restrooms. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said the Old Post Office Pavilion (at 12th and Pennsylvania)...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 4:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Visits Washington Post

Barack Obama visited the Washington Post to meet the editorial board and national staff, but his tour of the 5th floor newsroom nearly stopped the presses. Staff writers, photographers, editors and employees from other departments lined the hallway after word...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (9)

Talent Lineup Released for Official Balls

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has released the lineup of musical acts for Barack Obama's official inaugural balls Jan. 20. Here's the list: President Obama Home States Ball Common Jack Johnson Don Cagen Orchestra Vice President Biden Home States Ball Maroon...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 2:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Discussion Excerpts: Logistics, Transportation and More

Several online discussions today tackled the inauguration. Here are some excerpts from them. Martin Bond, spokesman for event planning company Hargrove, Inc., which is managing the parade, the official balls and other events: Arlington, Va.: Which ball are you most...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 15, 2009; 2:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Who Can Use the Virginia Bridges? Here's Who...

Virginia officials added some details to inauguration transportation rules including the definition of what exactly is an “authorized vehicle” that will able to cross the Potomac River Bridges. They include emergency vehicles, taxicabs, for-hire limos and car service, buses (defined...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 2:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

Georgetown Metro Connection Bus to Operate on Inauguration Day

Though bridges will be closed to private vehicles from Virginia to D.C. on Tuesday, the Georgetown Metro Connection has received approval to keep continue operating across the bridge. The shuttle serves all Metro bus stops in Georgetown and operates express...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Weather Watch: Wind Wreaks Havoc on Mall Preparations

It's cold in Washington today, temps falling below freezing, and about to get worse, headed into the low 20s tomorrow and Saturday. But it's the wind that's become the issue for construction workers preparing the National Mall for Barack Obama's...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 1:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

Nationals Stadium Parking Garage Open for Inauguration

Planning on bringing your car for Inauguration Week and looking for places to park? Nationals Park, the stadium for the city's professional baseball team, is opening one of its garages for the public at a cost of $20 for the...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

D.C. Mayor: City Residents to Make Care Packages for Troops

A heated tent will be at RFK Stadium for volunteers Monday. (Photo by Lateef Mangum, courtesy of D.C. Mayor's office.) Braving 31-degree temperatures and stiff winds, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty came to RFK Stadium today to announce a way...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 12:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Souvenir Watch: Obama Ball Caps

Maker: New Era Price: "approximately $35" Why: the Barack Obama-Inspired collection features designs and definitions drawn from the phrases that made his campaign one to remember including "Hope", "Dream", "Change" and "Progress." Also included in the line will be...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (2)

D.C. Chief Gives Advice on Crowds

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier urged people today to regularly check Web sites for the latest news about inaugural events, saying that information could be changing right up until the activities take place. Lanier said officials are doing their...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 11:40 AM ET | Comments (4)

Upcoming Discussions: Event Planning, Transportation

Two discussions today will answer your inauguration-related questions. Marvin Bond of Hargrove, Inc., the company handling the planning and logistics for the parade and the official balls, will be online at noon ET to take your questions about how the...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 15, 2009; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Republicans John Warner, Chuck Hagel, Lindsey Graham to Appear at Bi-Partisan Dinners

Barack Obama will try to begin making good on his pledge to bridge the ideological divide with a series of bi-partisan dinners Monday honoring Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Colin Powell and former rival John McCain. Today, Obama announced that a...

By David A Nakamura | January 15, 2009; 7:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

Neighborhood Ball Likely Sold Out

We're hearing reports that tickets to the Neighborhood Ball, featuring a bevy of big-name musical stars, quietly went on sale this afternoon to the general public for $25 apiece--with a maximum purchase of four tickets. But they appear to already...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 6:53 PM ET | Comments (104)

Want to See a Protest?

Some will celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration. Others will use the occasion as a chance to protest various causes. If you're interested in where the protesters plan to rally Tuesday, here's a list compiled by Post reporter Lori Aratani: National Japanese...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 6:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Obama Announces Whistle Stop Tour Sites, Access

On Saturday, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden and their families will depart a train station in Philadelphia for a whistle stop tour that will bring them through Wilmington, Del., and Baltimore to Washington, D.C. Today, the Presidential...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 5:44 PM ET | Comments (2)

Obama on the (Really) Big Screen

In case the 21 Jumbotrons on the National Mall won't be enough for you to watch Barack Obama's inauguration, here's a chance to see him in another larger than life setting: The Navy Memorial’s Naval Heritage Center, at 701 Pennsylvania...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 5:36 PM ET | Comments (2)

Holocaust Museum Closed on Tuesday

The Holocaust Museum will be closed on Inauguration Day, officials said, due to security plans that will make it difficult for patrons to reach the building. The museum will reopen on January 21 with normal hours of 10 a.m. to...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 5:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hotel Rooms Still Available

If you thought Washington's hotels were booked up for the Obama-thon, think again. The District's official tourism office, Destination DC, reports that there are 15,000 rooms available in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District. A total of 800 rooms remain...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (20)

HBO Will Broadcast Concert Live, Free, Online

HBO announced today that they will broadcast Sunday's We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration live beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET, rather than only tape-delayed at 7 p.m., as previously announced. The tape-delayed broadcast still will be shown, and a...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 14, 2009; 4:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration Watch on NPR

Inauguration Watch blogger David Nakamura was on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation yesterday to discuss inaugural planning. You can listen by going to this page and clicking the "listen now" link....

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 3:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inaugural Committee Gives 1,000 Free Tickets to Local Groups for Neighborhood Ball, Kids' Concert

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is distributing the first tickets for the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball Jan. 20 at the Washington Convention Center. That event will feature performances by Beyonce Knowles, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, JAY-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 3:41 PM ET | Comments (3)

Free Phone Application for BlackBerrys, iPhones to Help Navigate Washington

Coming to Washington from out of town and worried you won't have enough real-time information to make your way around town? Two local companies--Qorvis and Patton Boggs--have developed a cell phone software application to help you. The software is designed...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 3:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Memorial, Roosevelt Bridges To Be Closed Sunday

Memorial Bridge will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles Sunday afternoon when President-elect Barack Obama officially opens inaugural festivities at the Lincoln Memorial with a 2:30 p.m. concert that will feature Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and several other celebrities, according to...

By Nikita R Stewart | January 14, 2009; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (3)

Dramatic Constitution Reading at Newseum Sunday

A mix of politicians, writers, historians and celebrities will participate in a dramatic reading of the U.S. Constitution at the Newseum at noon Sunday. The event, sponsored by People For the American Way Foundation, will be held in a television...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 1:36 PM ET | Comments (3)

Senate Passes Anti-Ticket Scalping Bill

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's bid to ban the sale of inauguration tickets moved a large step closer to becoming law when the Senate approved the legislation last night. The bill still needs House approval before the law would go into effect,...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (3)

Del. Norton Distributes 600 "Surprise" Inaugural Tickets

Last week, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), the District's closest thing to a real, live voting member in Congress (Norton can participate in subcommittees, but she cannot vote on the House floor), held a lottery to give out 198 tickets...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 1:12 PM ET | Comments (9)

Tickets Hard to Come By for Kids' Concert

Looking to see Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, et al at the Verizon Center Monday? Won't be easy to get one of the 20,000-or-so seats, reports the Post's Richard Leiby. The inaugural committee is handling ticket distribution, and "they have told...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (4)

Stan Lee Explains Why Obama is in Spider-Man

We told you last week that Barack Obama will make his debut in Spider-Man. So how why did creator Stan Lee decide to bring the President-elect into Spidey's world? The Post's Michael Cavna asked him that very question in an...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama: 'This Inauguration is Not About Me. It's About All of Us.'

How bad could the crowds and long lines be Tuesday? So bad that the President-elect felt the need to issue a statement talking about way to participate without attending his inauguration. In a video posted on youtube, Obama also...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (4)

Welcome Concert Begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Doors Open at 8 a.m.

Barack Obama's free concert at the Lincoln Memorial will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and people will be allowed to begin gathering at 8 a.m. that morning, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said today. The event features a wide array of...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 8:06 AM ET | Comments (7)

Washington Post to Print 1.72 Million Copies for Street Sales

Barack Obama's election has been a boon to many a business, including newspapers such as this one. Now comes word from the Poynter Institute that the Post will print 1.72 million copies of special inauguration-related editions on Tuesday and Wednesday...

By David A Nakamura | January 14, 2009; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Upcoming Discussion: The Root on Day of Service

Natalie Hopkinson, associate editor of The Root, and Steve Coleman, founder of Washington Parks and People, will be online Wednesday, January 14 at 12 noon ET to discuss plans for a day of service Monday, January 19 in Northeast Washington's...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 13, 2009; 7:56 PM ET | Comments (2)

Around the Web

Not only may the inauguration clog up local roads and highways, it will also be crowding the airwaves. HBO will air the opening ceremony, which will include Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and other acts. Beyonce, true to her promise, also will...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 13, 2009; 7:36 PM ET | Comments (3)

National Gallery to Be Completely Closed

Looks like the security restrictions have proved too difficult to navigate for the National Gallery of Art, which had planned to keep some wings open to the public Tuesday. Today, a gallery spokeswoman announced the entire museum will be closed...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 7:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Virginians: How Will You Get in?

Catamaran? Parasail? Trebuchet? With all the bridges closed down and the Metro likely packed to the roof, Post reporter Brigid Schulte is looking for creative methods Northern Virginians are planning to use to get to the Mall on inauguration day....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 13, 2009; 7:11 PM ET | Comments (6)

Faces in the Crowd: David Rupert

David Ruppert grew up in Detroit, where cars and politics were family staples. His father was a Chrysler lineman and active in the United Auto Workers union. Ruppert remembers riding through city streets in his father's Chrysler New Yorker and...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 13, 2009; 7:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Metro Announces Some Stations Will Be Entrance or Exit Only

Several Metrorail stations will have entrances that are restricted to exit-only or entry-only access on Inauguration Day to move as many people as possible into and out of the train system, officials said. For a complete listing of stations designated...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 6:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

George Mason University Cancels Classes Tuesday

George Mason University officials announced today that all classes will be canceled at its Northern Virginia campuses on inauguration day Tuesday because of transportation concerns. Classes will be held on May 5th in order to complete the academic calendar; and...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 6:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

After-Party Watch: Welcome to 1600 Hosted by Spike Lee

Who: Hosted by Spike Lee, presented by Mike Muse, Unik, and Pantera Sarah; featuring will.i.am as special guest DJ; with sounds by Music Maestros: DJ M.O.S and DJ mOma Where: Josephine's, 1008 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington DC When: Tuesday, Jan....

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 6:07 PM ET | Comments (1)

Column: The Million Things We Don't Know March

Post columnist Marc Fisher exposes in an online essaay the Big Lie about the planning for the inauguration: That despite the projections and estimates, no one knows what to expect for the big day. Fisher writes: Ten thousand buses. Or...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 6:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Montgomery County (Md.) Releases Transportation Information

Planning to make your way from Montgomery County into the District for Tuesday's inaugural festivities? Montgomery government officials today put out some tips on parking, bus schedules and Metro access with a new Web site that will be updated with...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 5:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Voting Rights Group: Use 'Taxation' Plates in Parade

Today, the voting rights group DC Vote distributed an "Open Letter to President Obama," which included the following inauguration-related requests: Change the license plates on the presidential motorcade. President Bill Clinton added the DC license plates, which bear the revolutionary...

By Washington Post Editors | January 13, 2009; 5:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Metro Extends Service on Inaugural Eve Until 2 a.m.

Metro announced today that it will stay open two hours later Monday night to meet demand, running service until 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning. (The normal closing time would have been midnight.) Trains will run during inaugural week on the...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration Morning Prayer Service to Take Place at St. John's

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush leave St. John's Episcopal Church with Rev. Luis Leon on inauguration day in 2005 (Reuters/Rick Wilking). President-elect Barack Obama will attend a private prayer service the morning of his inauguration...

By Washington Post Editors | January 13, 2009; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bush Declares State of Emergency for Inauguration

President Bush has declared a state of emergency for the District during the Inauguration Jan. 17-21, Press Secretary Dana Perino said. The move will allow the federal government to provide funding to District government agencies, which have been swamped with...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 4:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

Weather Watch: "Chance of Snow" On Inauguration Day

The National Weather Service, in its first detailed weather prediction for inauguration day Jan. 20, is forecasting a cloudy, overcast day with “a chance of snow." ACCUweather had been hinting at snow, but said Tuesday that it was too far...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 3:59 PM ET | Comments (1)

Tickets to Obama's Official Regional Inaugural Balls Available for $150

We've heard reports that people are buying tickets to Barack Obama's seven official regional inaugural balls for the face value of $150 apiece. Last week, we reported that the Presidential Inaugural Committee was selling tickets to the seven balls for...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (54)

Musical Talent Announced for Neighborhood, Kids' Inaugural Balls

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced the musical lineups for the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on Jan. 20 at the Washington Convention Center and the Kids Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19 at the Verizon Center: Musical performers scheduled for the Neighborhood...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (4)

No Jumbotrons on Parade Route

Contrary to information provided by D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty this morning, official sources tell us the Presidential Inaugural Committee has decided not to place Jumbotrons along the parade route on Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The idea to wheel several of...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 3:17 PM ET | Comments (4)

Sign Up for Inauguration Survival Alerts

Going to the inauguration? Or will you be trying to navigate your way around the masses on Jan. 20? washingtonpost.com is offering special mobile alerts to help you navigate your way. We'll use the power of combined information from our...

By Washington Post staff | January 13, 2009; 2:34 PM ET | Comments (2)

Inaugural Ball Watch: HBCU Gala

What: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Inaugural Gala Who: Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education When: Jan. 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Where: National Postal...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 2:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Crayon Sculpture on Display Saturday

Obama sculpture image courtesy of Herb Williams It sounds like an elementary school art project gone haywire, but the sculpture of Barack Obama made entirely with Crayola crayons by artist Herb Williams is high concept art. Or so thinks...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Map of Jumbotron Locations

We told you an hour ago about the locations for more than 20 Jumbotrons that will be broadcasting the inauguration and parade on the Mall and along the parade route. Click the image at right for a view of the...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (6)

Charter Bus Watch: 3,000 Registered So Far

As officials try to predict how big the crowd will be at the inauguration, one obvious place to look has been at the number of charter buses. At one point several weeks ago, officials and media accounts placed the number...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (2)

Jumbotron Locations Revealed on Mall

City and federal officials today announced the location for the more than 20 Jumbotrons that will be set up on the Mall for people to watch Barack Obama's swearing-in Jan. 20. With large crowds expected, officials said some people might...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (11)

2,000 Bike Valet Spots Available on Mall

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association announced that its free valet service will be able to park 2,000 bicycles near the National Mall on inauguration day. There will be two bike lots, one on the south side of the Jefferson Memorial...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Metro's Obama SmarTrip Cards Available at CVS Pharmacies

Metro has made its commemorative SmarTrip cards with Barack Obama's image available at CVS Pharmacies throughout the Washington region. They cost $10 for the card without any fare balance, and can be used before and after Jan 20. Previously,...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Capacity Crowd Will Close Checkpoints

Security officials will count the number of spectators arriving for the inaugural parade, and when the crowd reaches capacity, they will turn people away, reports the Post's Lena H. Sun. Officials warned that could happen well before the parade begins...

By David A Nakamura | January 13, 2009; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Gay Bishop to Deliver Prayer at Inaugural Concert

By Jacqueline L. Salmon Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man whose ordination helped touch off a worldwide struggle within the Anglican church over homosexuality and Scripture, will deliver the invocation Sunday at a concert to kick off...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 11:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

Virginia Offers Free Bus Service

Virginia transit officials announced they will be providing free bus service to Metrorail stations, Potomac River bridges and pay for four Metrobus lines that will go into the District. Bridges from Virginia into the District will be closed to regular...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 7:22 PM ET | Comments (2)

Medical History Card for Inaugural Visitors

The crowds will be big and, despite the best efforts of city and federal officials, there could be chaos around the inauguraion. To prepare for the worst-case-scenario --out-of-town visitors coming to Washington without their medical histories handy -- Suburban Hospital...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 7:17 PM ET | Comments (1)

District to Paint "Blue Line" For Parade Tonight

The traditional blue strip that is used to guide participants along the inaugural parade route will be painted tonight by the D.C. Department of Transportation. The line will run from the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 3rd Street NW to...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 6:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Memo to Senate Staff: Don't "Cash In" on Tickets

With the competition increasing by the hour for tickets to all things inaugural, a memo was sent out to Senate staffers warning them not to sell the tickets they receive. (Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has offered legislation to make the...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (7)

Obama's Sunday Inauguration Concert to Begin at 2 p.m.

We told you earlier about the musicians who will headline Barack Obama's welcome concert on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial. Now we're hearing the concert will begin at 2 p.m. It will be broadcast on HBO on tape delay from...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 5:23 PM ET | Comments (6)

Michelle Obama Talks About National Day of Service

We told you earlier today about the video Barack Obama put out encouraging people to get involved with the National Day of Service on Monday. Now First Lady-to-be Michelle Obama adds her own video call to service:...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Celeb Ogling for the D.C. Novice

The Going Out Gurus' Fritz Hahn provides a rundown of what likely will be the most star-infested hot spots during the inauguration rush. Cafe Milano "D.C.'s culinary equivalent of a red carpet," according to the Post's Reliable Source column, is...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 12, 2009; 4:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where You Can Eat Jan. 20, Drink Until Late

Washingtonpost.com's Going Out Gurus today posted their latest list of which restaurants will be open for breakfast and/or lunch on inauguration day. The Gurus' Julia Beizer also chats up some downtown restaurateurs about their plans. "We're going crazy," said Spike...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 12, 2009; 4:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inaugural Ball Watch: Muhammad Ali to Appear at Kentucky's Bluegrass Ball

Organizers of the Bluegrass Ball on Monday at the Marriott Wardman Hotel 2660 Woodley Road, N.W., said today that Muhammad Ali will apear at their event in celebration of his 67th birthday. The ball is being staged by the Kentucky...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

It's Official: Bruce Springsteen to Headline Obama's Sunday Concert

As The Post's Lena H. Sun first reported last week, Bruce Springsteen will be among the headliners at Obama's welcome concert on the National Mall on Sunday. The event will be from 7 p.m to 9 p.m near the Lincoln...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 2:24 PM ET | Comments (17)

More Metro Station Closings For Inauguration

Metro riders please take note. Two more rail stations will be closed for much of the day on Inauguration Day. The Judiciary Square Metrorail station on the Red Line and the Mt.Vernon Sq/7th St Convention Center Metrorail station on the...

By Nikita R Stewart | January 12, 2009; 2:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

Metro Doubling Bus Passenger Service for Airports

Metro is doubling the number of passengers it can carry on its buses that serve the Washington region’s major international airports for Inauguration Weekend, the agency announced. Metro will run additional buses from Friday, Jan. 16, through Wednesday, Jan. 21,...

By Marcia Davis | January 12, 2009; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Reporters Discuss Getting From Swearing-in to Parade, More

Post Inauguration Watch bloggers David Nakamura and Nikita R. Stewart were online Monday, Jan. 12 at noon ET to discuss all the events, hype and hoopla surrounding the swearing-in of Barack Obama and how the city is preparing for Jan....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 12, 2009; 1:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inaugural Ball Watch: The All Pro & All Stars Inaugural Celebration

Who: Redskins running back Clinton Portis, Wizards forward Antwan Jamison When: Jan. 17, 9 p.m. until 4 a.m. Where: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington D.C. Tickets: $100; $200 for VIP; order tickets here. Why You Want to Attend:...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 1:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Del. Norton Picks D.C. Inaugural Ticket Winners

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) today selected through a lottery the 100 District residents who will receive tickets to the swearing-in ceremony of Barack Obama Jan. 20. The names were drawn by Maj. Millard Pooran, M.D., of the Air National...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 1:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Renegade' Advice for Obama

In his early 1980s dancefloor hit "Renegades of Funk," hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa said men such as Chief Sitting Bull and Martin Luther King, Jr., were renegades -- or, as he put it, “people with their own philosophy; they change...

By Washington Post Editors | January 12, 2009; 11:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Inaugural Lesson Plans Available for Teachers

Are you a teacher and want to take advantage of the inauguration to help inform students of history? Then check out the lesson plans developed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. The lessons...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 11:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Faces in the Crowd: Gulshan Gachoke

When a Barack Obama campaign volunteer offered to help Gulshan Gachoke attend the Sikh Inaugural Ball in Washington, her response was: What is an inaugural ball? Although it has been more than 30 years since Gachoke and her husband left...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 12, 2009; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Spike Lee to Host Symposium at Howard University

Spike Lee will appear at a day-long symposium at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium on Jan. 19 to discuss topics including education, the economy and the impact of Barack Obama on Black America, according to the Hilltop, Howard's student newspaper. Moderators...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Metro: Access Tough for Those With Disabilities, Seniors on Inauguration Day

People with disabilities and senior citizens might find riding Metro difficult on Inauguration Day because of the large crowds, Metro officials said today. Boarding crowded trains could prove challenging and many escalators will be turned off that day to help...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Launches Public Service Announcement

Barack Obama is trying to translate the excitement surrounding his historic election and pending inauguration to rally volunteers to public serivce. Monday will be a National Day of Service, Obama's attempt to redefine the meaning of Martin Luther King...

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

Have a Question About the Inauguration? Ask Us on Our Online Chat

Inauguration Watch bloggers David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart will be online today at noon to answer your questions about the inauguration. Ask a question here and read the chat here....

By David A Nakamura | January 12, 2009; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Spider-Man Comic Book Creating All the Buzz

It's Inauguration Day, and mass bridge closures on the D.C.-Virginia border have not stopped the likes of the Chameleon from infiltrating the president-elect's swearing-in ceremony. In fact, the villainous shape shifter has not only braved the colossal crowds to get...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | January 11, 2009; 4:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Watkins Selected for Prayer Service

The Rev. Sharon Watkins of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been selected to give the sermon at the National Prayer Service Jan. 21, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said today. She will be the first woman to lead the...

By David A Nakamura | January 11, 2009; 3:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Weather Watch: First Look at Jan. 20 Forecast: 38 Degrees, Sunny

weather.com has its 10-day forecast available for the Washington area and shows, at this point at least, that Inauguration Day will be cold but sunny, with little chance of rain or snow. The service predicts a sunny day with a...

By David A Nakamura | January 11, 2009; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (1)

Inaugural Committee Issues 5 Color-Coded Sample Tickets, Capitol Map, Instructions

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies today issued instructions for how the 240,000 ticket holders for Barack Obama's swearing-in should access the Capitol grounds for the ceremony Jan. 20. The tickets will come in one of five different colors...

By David A Nakamura | January 11, 2009; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (7)

Big Rehearsal of Swearing-In, Parade

Officials are staging a large-scale rehearsal of the upcoming presidential inauguration and parade this morning -- and even practiced the swearing-in at the Capitol with a stand-in for Barack Obama. The activities began before dawn, with thousands of people gathering...

By Washington Post staff | January 11, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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