November 10th, 2008
08:55 AM ET
10 years ago

Inauguration prompts travel rush to Washington

Dennis Madsen is planning to drive from Atlanta to Washington so his son, Adlai, can see the inauguration.

Dennis Madsen is planning to drive from Atlanta to Washington so his son, Adlai, can see the inauguration.

(CNN) - It may be freezing in Washington in January, but the city is a red-hot destination for people around the country and the world eager to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn into office.

he nation's capital is preparing for a massive influx of visitors on Inauguration Day - January 20, 2009 - and the surrounding period of festivities, galas and celebrations.

"We've had a tremendous amount of interest from travelers who want to be here for the big historic moment," said Rebecca Pawlowski, director of communications for Destination DC, Washington's official convention and tourism corporation.

"It's certainly safe to say [crowds will be bigger compared to] the last inauguration, just because whenever there's a change in administration and whenever there's a change of party, it always fuels a little more interest."

Some Americans began making their travel plans well before the election, excited by the possibility of seeing the first African-American become president of the United States.

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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. 82nd Airborne Division

    I got to say it, that is on cute Baby! I wonder is he cares about
    the color of one's skin or their ethnicity?

    America is Truly blessed by our cultural diversity!

    And Tom in Delaware if your Caucasian your a disgrace too our
    contribution too the American Dream and way of life!


    November 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. C A

    Dave G, Minneapolis – So, you're not better off than 4 years ago, and I'll predict you won't be better off in four more years. But I guarantee that in 4 years 99.9% of you will vote for a Republicrat from the two parties and get more of the same.

    Your on Dave! But if I win let me see. What would I want from you? Certainly not your attitude nor your pathetic narrow minded miserable life. But if I do win how about you take the nearest boat you can find to China on a one way permanent no-return trip. Then we could all say we are certainly better off no matter the circumstances with you gone.

    November 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Linda32

    MissyRiver, I'm sure the cost is comparative to what has been spent in the past. In fact, I would think that since you are sooooo concern about taxpayers, you would be overjoyed about the spending that is going to occur due to this event. Just think, the DC, VA, MD economy could benefit from an influx of tourist.

    As a Georgetown alum, I'm especially proud and look forward to seeing this in person!

    November 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia

    I WILL BE THERE!!!! I am planning on staying with my brother – who lives in DC – and most likely will camp out the day before to get a good spot!!! YES I WILL because I CAN!!!

    November 10, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Liberal and proud of it!

    Where is all the "Patriotism" the Republicans have been touting all this time? A Patriot would be hoping that Obama succeeds in digging us out of this bottomless pit we are in, regardless of party politics.
    It has taken 8 years for us to get where we are. Anybody who thinks that we will magically be transported back to the top is foolish.
    One step at a time and the journey uphill is more arduous than the journey down. Instead of constantly tearing down the man at the top a Patriot would be boosting him up.

    November 10, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Hey everybody, please come on up to our nation's capital. It is truly an amazing place if you have never been here, it is one of those unique places in the world filled with history. Come to see Obama make history, but also come to pay homage to fallen heroes that made this moment possible too.

    November 10, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Lala


    November 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    In our household we have already made and purchased our flight arrangements from Houston, Texas as well as our relatives in Phoenix, Arizona. Our children did mock elections in their schools and they deserve to be a part and they are especially excited about this event. Thank God we have relatives living in the area because hotels are booked or their fees are above the board. See you there.

    November 10, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |

    It will be a wonderful time. Hope springs eternal..Can not wait to go!!!

    November 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. AmericaGotItRightThisTime

    I will be there, tickets or not!

    I am so proud of my country!

    America voted smart!

    I pray to God for Barack and Joe's safety and success over the next four years!

    November 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Ifrah

    Worth the traveling.....
    first time in my life was interesting in politics. I believe in Obama and the chnage he will bring to world.

    All the best to Obama/Biden and their families.


    November 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    I think it is great people want to go to Washington DC, just remember it is safer in Iraq or Afganistan than in DC but the Mddsen family being form Atlanta should know how to keep out keep out of harms way since they have had a lot of practice in Atlanta.

    November 10, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Minneapple gal

    I want to go sooooooo bad. Is there any low cost hotels? I have been to and I dont know any areas outside DC. I want to be close however the prices are high and it looks like I will have to take a subway.

    any suggestions? Please let me know I want to go and there is NO WAY my family is missing this

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Dave

    Sounds like a nice waste of their time.

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. rene

    i'll be there, i can't wait, i'm coming from the great blue state of ohio, we're use to the cold winters, i've been emotonal for the past few weeks

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. April

    I'll be there.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Dave

    Please people, there is no getting it right in the rigged sham of the "two-party" system. More like one party, two names. We get the same thing. In the future we will be mulling over the same things as this past election and the others before it. No change. It's basically whether you want to head for the cliff at 70 mph or 40 mph. Because that is where we are heading. These guys from the two party system are bought a nd paid for and will listen to their true masters. Need a clue just take a look at the illegal bailout package to see the thieves giving it to the true masters.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Cindy from NC

    I booked my HOTEL back in Sept, after the convention. ON MY WAY TO DC.

    November 10, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. demcor

    Called my Senator and Congressman and staying at my girlfriend's house. Trying to get tics to one ball for $200. This will be early wedding gift to my fiancee. Man this wil be so awesome getting married the same year as Barack takes office. WOW! Got ring on Michelle's and Barack's 16th anniversary! WOW!

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. SweetPea

    What can I take for my "crying".....all this excitement is making cry...maybe I am a cry baby?


    November 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Mike

    This Republican voted for Obama and will again if the GOP does not bring the right candidate in 2012. Personally I like Bobby Jindal. I know that Palin cannot win. She is tainted by the negative campaign she waged and the disasterous loss. And Romney is a Corporate Billionaire who is percieved to be part of the problem. Not the solution.

    November 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    I'm a teacher.... so I will stay home and watch on TV after school... or on the weekend.... I will love to see it all. And I would love to be there.... but reality sets in! Life must go on!

    Congratulations, President Obama and First Lady Obama... along with the Siblings Obama... and the new puppy whenever he arrives. What a wonderful time awaits us. A lovely First Family to watch and admire.... a serious intelligent President to heal the country... and, and... well, God is Good!

    As long as we hold that in our minds, We, the People, can do anything. Just hang in their America, and trust that we are on the way up the mountain now. It may be a steep climb.... but we can do.... TOGETHER!

    November 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Paizley

    I'm going. Wouldn't miss it for the world!

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. chelle

    Okay my question would be "say what" to Dennis Madsen!!! Your son is an infant – like he will be interested or even have a vague memory of the inaugeration. Leave him with grandparents and go yourself. You know you aren't really going for him – you're going for you – which is great!

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    Who wants to see a fraud inaugurated? He's not my president.

    November 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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