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InauguralFest to Feature Air Force One Replica Plane, Exhibits

air force one photo.jpg(Photo courtesy of Jim Warlick.)

This weekend, a plane will touch down in the center of Washington. Actually, it will be half a plane, a Boeing 727 replica of Air Force One that will be the highlight of InauguralFest, a week-long event from Jan. 16-24 in the parking lot of the old convention center in downtown Washington (1100 H Street NW).

The festival will encompass 30,000-square feet of tent space and feature a number of exhibits of adults and children, said Jim Warlick, the political memorabilia store maven who is the force behind InauguralFest. Exhibits include a replica oval office, complete with furniture and a fire place; a history of presidential pets; first-lady ball gowns; and, possibly, Harry Truman's first presidential limosine (Warlick's still trying to get permission to use the car from a museum). Tickets will cost $17.50 for adults and $12.95 for children.

Warlick said the Boeing used to operate as the campaign plane for John Kerry and John Edwards, the Democrats who lost in the 2004 presidential race. Warlick purchased the jet, sans engine and wings, for $250,000 last year, then repainted it and repurposed the inside to resemble Air Force One. (President George H.W. Bush upgraded to a 747, so Warlick says the smaller plane looks more like what Ronald Reagan used.)

Warlick first showed the plane at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. "People loved it," he said. "The line was 300 yards long to get in."

Workers will be transporting the plane to the site tomorrow and continue with construction next week, Warlick said.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 9, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  | Category:  Entertainment , Inaugural History
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