Vox‘s inauguration guide: What you need to know before heading out tomorrow

Presidential Inauguration 2009 - 164.JPGTomorrow, Barack Obama will be inaugurated for his second term as the 44th President of the United States. Inauguration typically occurs on Jan. 20, but the 20th is a Sunday this year. Inauguration was moved to Monday, which is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

At noon today, President Obama was sworn-in privately, but he will take the Oath of Office and give his inaugural address publicly in front of the Capitol Building at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Many Hoyas will flock to the National Mall and the Capitol to experience history. Here’s what you need to know before walking out the door tomorrow.

Viewing areas
There were a limited number of tickets to watch the inauguration on the Capitol Grounds, but tickets are not required to view the inauguration on large TVs set up on the Mall. The Mall is open 24/7, but if you arrive before 7 a.m., you will be asked to leave periodically due to security sweeps.

The parade route runs along Pennsylvania Ave., and the street will be blocked off from the White House to the Capitol Building. If you are walking to the Mall, you will have to walk south toward Constitution Ave. Along Constitution Ave., there are specific points of access to the Mall, as well as parade route entry points. This map will help you plan your walking route and shows exactly where the parade starts and ends.

The parade begins at 2:30 p.m. and tickets are not required for viewing, but you are not allowed to lineup along the parade route before 7 a.m.

Metro planners estimate that 500,000 to 800,000 people will be using public transportation on Inauguration Day. To accommodate all of the visitors, Metro has extended hours beginning at 4:00 a.m. on Monday and continuing until 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Given the large amount of people who will be using public transportation, certain Metro stations, Archives, Mt. Vernon Square and the Smithsonian, will be closed. More information and a link to calculate the best route using the Metro can be found on the Metro website.

Though the easiest and most efficient way for Georgetown students to get to the inaugural events is to walk. According to Google Maps, the walk takes just over an hour via Wisconsin and Virginia Ave. Vox advises students to leave at the latest by 9 a.m. if you want to secure a space reasonably close to the Capitol Building.

Biking is another option, although bikes are not allowed in the National Mall and there is a restricted area around the parade route where bikes and other vehicles are prohibited. If you plan on biking, be aware that you will have to lock your bike up before you reach your destination. One option is a bicycle parking lot at 16th Street and I Street, NW.

Prohibited Items
Anyone on the Mall, Capitol grounds, or parade route will have to go through a security screen. Several items are prohibited from the Inaugural parade route and the White House reviewing stand, most notably, backpacks and bags and signs exceeding size restrictions (8″ by 6″ by 4″) and alcoholic beverages. Sorry, looks like you’re just going to have to pregame. The list of prohibited items is longer for ticketed viewers of the inauguration.

Early in the morning, temperatures will be in the low 30’s but will increase to the mid 40’s by the afternoon. Wind and the possibility for flurries will pick up later in the evening. Dress accordingly. Patch is advising attendees to eat a big breakfast beforehand.

For any additional information about the Inauguration, visit the official website.

Photo: Kyle Taylor via Flickr

3 Comments on “Vox‘s inauguration guide: What you need to know before heading out tomorrow

  1. The “Capital” is not the same as the “Capitol”

  2. Are backpacks allowed on the MALL during the Inauguration? Not the Capitol Grounds. Not the Parade Route. Not the “Tickets Only” areas.

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