Official presidential inauguration store opens near White House

Alice Gore of Centreville, Va. attended the grand opening of the Presidential Inauguration Committee’s store in downtown D.C. Gore talks about the significance of Obama’s reelection. (Freddy Kunkle/The Washington Post)

A small mob hungry for souvenirs and other merchandise commemorating President Obama’s second inauguration pounced Friday at the opening of an official store near the White House.

As the drum corps of Ballou Senior High School’s “Majestic” Marching Knights beat a deafening tattoo and Abe Lincoln (the Washington Nationals’ racing mascot version) pranced on the sidewalk, dozens of shoppers crowded into the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013 official store at noon, looking for clothing, pins and buttons. Also on sale were artworks, including a special-edition poster designed by artist Chuck Close, and even tube socks.

Alice Gore, a retired federal contractor who visited the store, said she bought some T-shirts and buttons for out-of-town friends who can’t visit during the inauguration. She also said she came to get the “lay of the land” for the ceremonies later this month and to share in an event that means so much to her.

“. . .I am very proud that an African American was, with a clear majority, elected president of the United States of America,” said Gore, an African American who lives in Centreville. “I really think it fulfills the ‘Dream’ speech that Martin Luther King gave. And I think it also says to the world that we really are an open nation.”

A similar store opened in downtown Washington in 2009.

Merchandise went on sale earlier online.

Cameron French, a spokesman for the committee, said the proceeds help pay for the festivities surrounding the official oath-taking ceremony. Obama will take the oath of office to begin a second term in a private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 20, followed by a public ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21.

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