Get On Board! Make Inauguration Plans Now
6 months ago
Barack Obama’s second swearing-in could be last for a black man
Hard to believe that it's been four years since the nation’s first African American president was sworn in – and we were staring at the enormous gray bow atop Aretha Franklin’s church hat during Barack Obama’s inauguration.
But it’s almost that time again – and given the historic nature of the event, it could be the last time you see a black man sworn in as president for a really long time.
Most activities surrounding Obama’s second installment are scheduled for Jan. 21, although the nation’s official inaugural day is Jan. 20. (This year, Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday. A private oath of office will be administered by noon on that day to adhere to law.)
For those expecting the mad dash for tickets to the ceremony and the formal balls, along with prime hotel rooms and transportation arrangements – reminiscent of the record-breaking attendance for the 2009 festivities – it seems the excitement hasn’t quite returned in full force.
“I don’t see the hype yet,” said Bernice Cannings, owner of BC Tours and Travel in the Washington, D.C., area. “Last time, the minute [Obama] won, people were going nuts.”
Attending the inauguration for any individual far enough outside of the Beltway could easily cost $1,500. That’s a pretty penny after having just tapped out from Christmas holiday spending. There’s no shortage of companies and private citizens looking to profit, like so many did in 2009. However, getting there on a modest budget is doable.
“People are hoping that it will be like it was four years ago,” Cannings said in a phone interview. “People are trying to rent their homes and that kind of stuff. I heard someone was trying to rent [a] condo for $5,000.”
Cannings, who has run her travel agency for 20 years, said she is willing to help anyone looking for help making their inauguration plans. The absence of hype doesn’t mean that right now isn’t a prime time to get arrangements in order. By Christmas things could become increasingly more difficult to find, Cannings said. For instance, January airfare, train tickets and buses into Washington-metro area are currently at the rates they would be if it weren’t a presidential election year.