Inauguration time in DC is exciting but also crazy. In my line of work I’ve had the good fortune of covering inauguration activities from various vantage points – the Capitol, the Mall, from an Inaugural Ball. And while there’s no doubt that watching a president take the oath of office fills me with the pride of being an American I also feel stressed, rushed, crowded and, my least favorite, freezing.
If that didn’t scare you and you still want to brave the crowds (seriously, this is your last warning!) here are the basics for playing the part of civilian observer Monday on the Mall: The Associated Press estimates you’ll be surrounded by 600,000 – 800,000 of your closest friends. Security screening gates will open at 7a. If you have tickets they’ll have gate entrance info printed on them. If you don’t, don’t even try to sneak your way in, just head to designated areas on the Mall for public viewing. More details here.
Prefer to watch from a bit of a distance?
Boundary Road will be open for lunch at 12p and will be projecting the event on the big screen.
Later that day, Rock & Roll Hotel is hosting its own “Inaugural Ball” (“tuxedo t-shirts highly recommended!”)
Hungry? Check out Eater’s round up of the various inauguration-themed specials around town, including on the Hill at DC-3, where you can try their Egg-Nauguration Breakfast Dog for $4.99 (a breakfast sausage served on French toast butter loaf with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and maple syrup)
There are plenty of inauguration events and packages at area restaurants including at The Liaison and Art & Soul, but they’ll cost you. If that doesn’t hit the mark, you can “Swing for the Swearing In” (and bid on some cool salon dinners and vacation getaways) Saturday at what is billed as Capitol Hill’s inaugural ball, hosted by Capitol Hill Village.
Thirsty? DCist lists the 154 district bars (starting this week!) that are offering extended hours. These places will be able to serve liquor until 4 a.m. and stay open indefinitely until January 22. Plenty of Hill spots are featured, including Little Miss Whiskey’s, Pour House, Trusty’s, Rock and Roll Hotel, and the list goes on. Check out all of the bars who will have you celebrating inauguration into the wee hours here.
Oh and last but perhaps certainly not least (in fact this may be the most critical for your sanity) Are you playing host to out of town guests for inauguration? You’ll be looking for ways to entertain them. As a shameless promoter of Hill East, why not have them check out Congressional Cemetery, which is offering free docent-led tours on Saturday in honor of MLK Day and Inauguration weekend. Tours begin at 11a and will continue every half hour, with the last tour leaving at 12:30p. All tours will meet at the Chapel on the cemetery grounds.