Mayor-elect Marion Barry announced plans yesterday for a "people's inaugural" on Jan. 2 that includes a parade down the riot-scarred 14th Street corridor and an inaugural night disco with music by local entertainers Jula & co. and Peaches and Herb.
The day-long ceremonies will mark the swearing in of the District of Columbia's second elected mayor in this century.
Plans outlined yesterday by inaugural committee chairman Thornell Page combine traditional pomp, nostalgia, a 'new spirit' theme with a bit of hometown pride. Barry has also borrowed a page from the inaugural book of President Carter and decided to walk part of the 2.7-mile parade route on what the committee hopes will be a sunny winter day.
The parade is to begin at the Washington Hotel and proceed down Florida Avenue to U Street NW and east to 14th Street. That will take it past the 16th Street headquarters of Pride Inc., the self-help and economic development organization cofounded by Barry and used by him as a launching pad to political prominence.
About 150 Distric of Columbia school children and more than four dozen marching units are scheduled to participate in the parade, along with the 65-piece, green-and-gold clad "Marching Warriors" band from Booker T. Washing High School in Memphis-Barry's alma mater.
Supreme Curt Justice Thurgood Marshall will administer the oath of office to Barry. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) will address the inaugural crowd during ceremonies on the north steps of the District Building. Invitations have been sent to President Carter, Vice President Mondale and White House assistant Louis Martin.
Guy Draper, an entertainment promoter and member of the inaugural commitete, said yesterday the ballroom of the Washington Hilton will be turned that night into a "green oasis" of palms and cut flowers for the party. Flashing lights, records spun by WKYS disc jockey Donnie Simpson and some live entertainment will transform the exhibit hall's currently "industrial chic" atmosphere into a rocking disco groove, he said.
The ceremonies that will cost $130,000 will begin at 7:30 in the morning with a$10-a-person breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel. No guest speaker has yet been confirmed for the affair. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young had been scheduled, but will not be able to come, Page said yesterday.
The parade will immediately follow the breakfast, hopefully getting under way about 9:15 a.m. Beginning at 19th Street and Florida Avenue, it will travel east to 18th and U streets, west on U Street to 14th, south on 14th to E Street and east past the reviewing stand in front of the District Building.
The parade then will move east on Pennsylvania Avenue from 13th to 12th Street before concluding. It should be over by 11:30.
Barry personally chose the parade route and explained yesterday that it had "symbolic" significance to him and his soon-to-be administration. "The 14th Street corridor represents the challenge and direction" that the new administration must take in housing and other areas, he said. "People on 14th Street never get to see a parade."
"The whole area represents a lot to me . . . It takes me back a long way," he said.
When asked if he chose the U Street route in to march past Pride, Barry said, "There's no way you can go down U Street without going by Pride."
Although the Inaugural Committee announced that Booker T. Washington High School band would be in the parade, the school's principal, Mose Walker Jr., said in a telephone interview yesterday that there was still some uncertainty that enough money could be raised for the trip.
Also in the parade will be a dragon and lion from Chinatown, a Trinidad steel band and a Latino musical group.
After the swearing-in ceremony, several free receptions will be held in the District Building. Some parts of the fifth floor, including the mayor's office, already have been repainted for the occasion.
The inaugural party and disco cost $15 per person admission and are to last from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. On the following day, a $30-a-person luncheon for the "business, labor and professional" communities will be held at the hotel.
Inauguration planners expect 2,000 tickets to be sold for this event, and hope its proceeds will help defer costs of other activities. The same number of people are expected for the breakfast and 5,000 for the party and disco. Aside from the price of tickets for these events, no other money-making ventures are planned, Page said.
In 1974, the inaugural committee wound up about $20,000 in debt, he said, and this year's event is planned to be financially self-supporting.
Even though this year's fete is billed as a "people's inaugural," some of its costs are considerably higher than in 1974, when tickets for the breakfast, for example, cost only about half as much, according to Martin K. Schaller, the mayor's executive secretary.
In addition to inaugural day activities, the City Council which will hold its first formal meeting on inauguration day has planned two days of open house and receptions at the District Building on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5.
One session will be devoted to senior high school students, another to senior citizens and handicapped persons and a third to advisory neighbourhood commissioners, business and community leaders and school board members.
Further information about and tickets for the inaugural events may be obtained from the 1979 Inaugural Committee of the District of Columbia, 1325 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004. The telephone numbers are 727-6121 and 724-4466.