As you probably know, today is Inauguration Day here in the Nation’s Capitol. Those of us that live here in the Capitol region have a special perspective of this day unlike everyone else in the country because while you may watch it on TV, we here in the Capitol region must endure the actual event and all that comes with it. This year’s inauguration is extremely historical but for more reasons than you might imagine. Here’s a small sample of some of the epic inauguration activities that you might not be aware of.
- It is estimated that somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 tour buses will arrive in DC.
- The bridges that lead from Virginia into DC are being closed to almost all vehicular traffic on the day of the inauguration.
- I-395 is being closed to all Northbound traffic inside the Beltway (that is unless you are a taxi, limo, bus, or emergency vehicle).
- There will be 20 + inaugural balls held tonight.
- The bars in DC are being allowed to stay open until 4AM (because who doesn’t want to see a few million drunk people).
- The Park Police are busy trying to figure out if they should allow 2.5 or 5 sq. feet of space for each person that will be entering the Mall (the large grassy area between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial), this will mean the difference between 2.1 or 1.17 million people. This doesn’t include the folks that will surround the Capitol and line the parade route up Pennsylvania Ave.
- Total estimates for crowds run anywhere from 2.5 to 5 million people that will try to watch some portion of the inauguration.
I don’t want to sound like I’m having sour grapes about the events of the day, because I’m not. For one thing, I no longer work in DC so I don’t have to worry about competing with the millions of on-lookers. Secondly, I am very proud of the process that transfers the power of our government in a peaceful manner from one person to another, just as our founding fathers constructed so many years ago. Whether or not I am a fan of Mr. Obama is not the issue, because I am a fan of the presidency and all it stands for. So if you are an American, celebrate today as you would the 4th of July because it really is a special event. And if you are celebrating in DC, do me a favor and take 95-North on your way home, I hear it’s less crowded.
To see some great images of the inauguration preparations, check out this edition of The Big Picture.