published Friday, January 16th, 2009

If you go


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

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


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


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

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.