Disappointed Inaugural Parade Ticket Holders Feel Left Out
The griping continues. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
We've now received complaints from ticket holders to the inaugural parade, including those who paid for their tickets, who say they were unable to get to their designated viewing areas on Inauguration Day. And they feel their voices have been stifled amid heavy coverage of the security chaos at the swearing-in ceremony.
It wasn't just those infamous purple, blue and silver tickets to the swearing-in ceremony whose value became worthless. Parade ticket holders, too, were prevented from getting to their bleacher seats. Sure enough, photos show plenty of empty seats and open spaces on the sidewalk lining Pennsylvania Avenue.
We received a letter today from Adam Fagen of Arlington, Va., who wrote, "I was one of the many who had PAID for a parade ticket but was never able to access the parade route because security checkpoints were so overwhelmed. And just like at the Capitol, there was no one maintaining order, [directing] people or otherwise assuring that the checkpoints were safe and orderly along the parade route. In short, it was a dangerous crowd control situation along a 2-mile route."
Fagen scolded the Sleuth and the Washington Post for ignoring what he said "should be a big story...The purple/blue/silver ticket fiasco is indeed an important story, but so is the parade."
Sunny Bredice of Los Angeles told us her husband bought parade tickets for them and their 11-year-old son for $800 a piece from Stage Front Tickets. They never made it to their seats, either. "I understand they were very good (empty) seats," she said in an email we received this afternoon. (Nor did they make it to their premium standing area for the swearing-in ceremony; they had blue tickets.)
A woman at the Tenleytown Whole Foods one evening recently said she and her boyfriend never made it to their bleacher seats, either.
And Washingtonian John Edgell, a Democratic consultant, told the Sleuth today he and his family couldn't get to their parade route viewing area. Here's what Edgell wrote in an email he sent to us today:
"Just look at photographs of the President and Mrs. Obama on the parade route between 7th and 12th streets and the sidewalks are almost barren, and the bleachers are half full. Then look at the tens of thousands of people who were kept outside the gates at the 7th, 10th and 12th street entrances, despite holding tickets, simply because of the low number of metal detectors at each entrance. There were only four metal detectors at each of those entrances. It's obvious the Secret Service wanted a parade with as few people in the crowd as possible, and they succeeded."
Mary Ann Akers
January 29, 2009; 3:50 PM ET
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