Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has printed about 250,000 tickets to the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony at the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
The tickets are free and will be given to members of Congress and to President-elect Barack Obama's presidential inaugural committee, once that is established. Those who want to attend the ceremony should contact their local member of Congress to request tickets. The viewing area will stretch from the Capitol along the Mall. Some more distant parts of the viewing area will not require tickets and will probably be served by huge video screens.
Congressional staffers said Friday that there were reports of advertisements on the Internet selling inaugural tickets for hundreds of dollars each. They said any such ticket would be false and of no value. Only congressional members' offices will be distributing the tickets. Several congressional members' offices said they had been so deluged with calls requesting tickets that they were planning to set up Web sites, probably by tomorrow, to take requests. They have not been told how many tickets will be allotted to each member's office, and they said that tickets will not be given out until one week before the inauguration.
Details about the inaugural parade will be worked out once the presidential committee is established. In the past, there have been ticketed and non-ticketed viewing areas for the parade. Groups interested in marching in the parade should apply to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee at http://www.afic.northcom.mil by
5 p.m. Friday.