The 57th Presidential Inauguration
With the 2012 Presidential Election—and all the television ads that accompanied it—firmly behind us, Washington D.C. is preparing to play host to the biggest quadrennial party around: the Inauguration.
This page is a resource for links to official inauguration sites, ways to get tickets, and interesting articles about the 2013 Inauguration. As more event information becomes available, we will update the page—so be sure to continue visiting the site.
Who can go?
Anyone can attend the swearing-in of the President at the U.S. Capitol. In 2008, 1.8 million people were present for the swearing-in of President Obama. While there are many open areas on the National Mall, some seating areas, as well as other events, will require tickets.
Where do I get tickets?
For the swearing in, tickets can be accessed through your local Representative or Senator's office. Tickets to the parade and balls are available only from the Presidential Inauguration Committee. You can learn more about getting tickets here (http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/2013/getting-tickets). Note: tickets are provided free of charge—BEWARE of fraudulent tickets sold online.
I hear there are speeches…and a parade…and balls!
Some of the most famous speeches in American history have been at Presidential Inaugurations—where Presidents outline their goals for their presidency. But more than a speech, Inauguration is a celebration. Some events to keep in mind are:
Jan. 21st, 2013
· The Swearing In: President Obama will take the oath of office in the presence of Supreme Court Chief Justice as well as more than a million Americans. 12:00p.m.
· Inaugural address: President Obama will address the nation. Follows swearing in, 12:15p.m.
· Parade: The Joint Task Force—Military District of Washington arranges for an extravagant parade of ceremonial military groups that passes by the newly sworn-in President and Vice-President. Approximately 2:00 p.m.
· Official Balls: Elegant celebrations follow the day's activities with balls and galas hosted by the Presidential Inauguration Committee. The Presidential party will attend more than one—there have been up to a dozen official balls in the past. Official Balls begin at 7:00 p.m.
· Unofficial Balls: A dozen balls will not hold Washington and its visitors so many state societies (http://www.statesocieties.org/StateSocieties.aspx), non-profits and other organizations choose to throw their own parties. A growing list of these balls can be found at http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/inauguralballs.htm.
Is WIPP doing anything for the Inauguration?
Yes. Save the Date!
What else do I need to know?
As mentioned, a lot of people attend Inaugurations—none more so than with President Obama. If you are planning to attend, keep in mind the following things:
1) Make your arrangements sooner rather than later. The District will fill up quickly and hotel rooms will typically need to be booked for more than one night.
2) Prepare to walk. As any veteran of Inaugurations can tell you, the streets become parking lots. Plan on walking a fair amount to the National Mall and the parade route or use the Metro. For more on public transportation, see http://www.wmata.com/. (Note the Inaugural Smart Trip card with a day full of unlimited rides)
3) Washington is cold (and occasionally wet) in January. Be sure to come prepared for winter weather. In 1985, at President Reagan's 2nd Inaugural, the temperature at noon was 7°F. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—the weather people—note precipitation at 1 in 3 inaugurations. For a historic look at inaugurations from a weather perspective, visit their site at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/Historic_Events/Inauguration/Inauguration.html.
4) Coat checks are a nightmare. With hundreds of events and thousands of attendees, one black coat can often be accidentally taken for another—leave the expensive favorites at home.
For the latest on the Inauguration, including FAQs, updates, and official announcements, please visit the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies' website here (http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/).
The parade is overseen by the Joint Task Force—DC, whose website for the Inauguration is http://www.2013inaugurationparade.mil/, however, the website is currently only for those in the parade. Until 2013 documents are available, please use the following for your reference:
Map of Capitol area from 2009 Inauguration:
Timeline of events from 2009 Inauguration: