The 2017 U S Presidential Inauguration
When Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence are sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America at the U.S. Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, it will be a monumental day – not only for the Commander in Chief and his wing man, but for U.S. citizens who have been asked to unite in patriotism.
Diehards making their way to catch the festivities in Washington, DC should note that this isn’t a “business as usual” time in our nation’s capitol. Security will be even tighter and transportation modes will be altered. As a bonus to this epic event, however, will be amped energy in monuments, memorials, museums and other “politics aside” events that will roll out through January.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when visiting Washington, D.C. during this event guaranteed to go down in history.
Catching the Action
If you failed to score one of the free tickets for the official swearing-in ceremony to be held on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn at noon on Jan. 20, you can gawk at the giant video screens with audio systems that will stream the monumental event on the National Mall. After the Oaths of Office and Inaugural Address, the Presidential Procession and Inaugural Parade will roll out along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
After leading this caravan of marching bands, floats, ceremonial military regiments and citizens’ groups, the 45th President of the United States, the Vice President, their spouses and their special guests will review the parade from the Presidential Reviewing Stand.
A limited number of bleacher seats can be reserved through the Presidential Inauguration Committee. Check the Presidential Inauguration calendar for a complete list of activities beyond the swearing in and parade.
Due to road closures and limited parking space, driving is not recommended. Preferable options include walking, Capital Bikeshare and the Metro. With extended hours on Inauguration Day, the latter will open at 4:00am. Expect rush-hour-type traffic on the lines until 9 p.m.
While supplies last, the Metro will offer a limited edition SmarTrip card commemorating Inauguration Day. At a 30 percent savings, the $10 card is pre-loaded with a one-day pass for Jan. 20, 2017 that will allow unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus rides. Those purchasing a card can extend the valid dates by adding value at any station or on the Metroline’s website. The site also features Inauguration Day station closures.
Those into ride sharing with Uber or Lyft should note that a geofence around the security perimeter will disable those apps. So attendees relying on these transportation services must leave the perimeter to request a ride.
Security Screening & Securing “Comforts”
As with any event of this size and scope, count on ample, tight security. Those holding tickets for any event will be required to show a photo ID when passing through security screening. Be sure to check the list of items prohibited ahead of time to that you don’t have to relinquish anything.
Also dress appropriately for Washington, D.C.’s cold winter weather. In January, our nation’s capital chills with an average high temperature of 43F and low at a sub-freezing 20F.
For “fueling up,” consider packing snacks and water. Other sustenance options include You’ll also find hot dog and pretzel stands at the National Mall, plus dining options in the Smithsonian museums. Thousands of portable toilets will also be available at the mall ad fronting Metro Stations.
No doubt that Washington, D.C. hotel accommodations are at a premium during inauguration festivities. Room rates increase, with many hotels setting minimum-night stay requirements. For details, check out available hotel packages from such stellar options as the Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency Washington On Capitol Hill, Washington Marriott at Metro Center, Courtyard Washington, D.C./Dupont Circle and The Mayflower Hotel.
Other January Action
Inauguration aside, Washington, D.C. engages with a bevy of high profile events during January. Among these is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 16. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall before or after attending the 11th Annual MLK Peace Walk & Parade.
Other popular picks that veer from anything political include the Washington Auto Show from Jan. 27-Feb. 5 and Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week from Jan. 30-Feb. 5.
If you’re into NBA action, shoot for a Washington Wizards home game scheduled for Jan. 14 16, 18, 24 and 31. Opponents will include the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trailblazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, respectively.
Those who can’t get their fill of President Obama are still in luck. Photo ops for mugging it up with the 44th President and First Lady, Michelle, can “selfie away” with the dynamic duo at Washington, DC’s version of Madame Tussauds. Then visit the Presidents Gallery to check out every former Commander in Chief, as well as the museum’s impressive Oval Office replica.