published Friday, January 16th, 2009

If you go

Weather

The Swearing-in Ceremony is an outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Inauguration day is typically cold — normally 37 degrees at noon — and occasionally wet.

Closures at home

Federal government offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 19, in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday as well as on Tues., Jan. 20, in observance of Inauguration Day.

Driving to the inauguration

Don’t expect an easy trip. District of Columbia officials report most of the inbound bridges will be closed to normal traffic and motorists can expect heavy congestion on the city’s major thoroughfares. In addition, many parking spaces close to the National Mall will not be available or will be reserved for authorized vehicles. So plan to park in outlying locations and use the Metro, Washington’s subway system, to access the event. A list of parking locations is available on www.inauguration.dc.gov.

Ticket holders should walk or use the Metro, due to road closures and restricted access around the Capitol.

Searches

All parade and event attendees are subject to a thorough security screening before entering any of the Inaugural event sites.

Prohibited Items

There are some no-brainers on the banned list such as firearms, ammunition, knives, blades, explosives, mace/pepper spray, sticks, poles and alcohol. But there are some other items that, if brought, could cause you trouble:

* Backpacks, packages, duffels, coolers, any bag exceeding 8x6x4 inches

* Aerosols, laser pointers

* Supports for signs and placards

* Thermoses, thermal or glass containers

* Strollers, umbrellas, bicycles

* Signs and posters

* Animals (other than service animals)

* Any other item deemed a security threat by event organizers

Children

It will be cold and perhaps wet on Inauguration Day, so organizers caution that extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly or anyone with a weakened immune system. A vast majority of attendees will be in standing-room sections and should be prepared to be on their feet for several hours.

Arrival Time

For the Swearing-In Ceremony, security checkpoints will open for ticketed guests at 8 a.m. and the musical prelude begins at 10 a.m. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies advises arriving no later than 9 a.m. to ensure that you are through the checkpoints by the time the program begins. Screening will end when the program begins at 11:30 a.m. and late arrivals will not be able to enter the grounds.

Compiled by Adam Crisp

Source: District of Columbia, Presidential Inaugural Committee

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