The inaugural parade has ended. In the last half-hour, the Boy Scouts of America, the United States Merchant Academy Band and the Colorado Freedom Riders whizzed by, marching at double time, it seemed.
After starting the parade at 3:45 p.m. – almost two hours later than four years ago — most of the celebration took place in the dark.
Parents of band members who traveled across the country clapped loudly as their kids marched by. But by 6 p.m., the crowd dwindled to just a couple hundred near the viewing stands at Freedom Plaza as wind picked up and a cold, damp January night set in on Washington.
When the final band, from the Virginia Military Institute, passed, the loudest applause in a half-hour erupted, as many of those remaining were allowed to cross the parade route, saving some a walk of two miles or more to other Metro stations.
President Trump and his family retired from the viewing stand into the White House. Meanwhile, D.C. officials were gearing up for an evening of inauguration balls, hoping to keep more protests from erupting across the city.