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Inauguration events to begin this weekend


By Claire Wiseman




The nation will begin official celebrations of President Barack Obama’s second term this weekend in Washington, D.C.  

The Ceremonial Swearing-In Ceremony, the one officially marked by national media and open to public in front of Capitol Hill, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

“What these inaugural speeches and ceremonies have generally been is a way for the president to cast what they think are their central ideas for the upcoming four years,” said Edward Carmines, IU professor of political science.

Carmines said Inaugural Ceremonies provide the newly elected president’s supporters another chance to celebrate their victory.

“It’s a way for the president, or the president-elect, to thank his or her supporters,” Carmines said.

Inauguration weekend begins Saturday morning with the National Day of Service Summit on the National Mall. The event will be one of a series of events scheduled in all 50 states to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To mark the occasion, the first and second families will volunteer throughout the city.

“There’s a different tenor to the country, of course, this time because, with the election in 2008 of the first African-American president, there was kind of an historic event that’s taking place, and it’s not the same this year,” Carmines said. “I think we’re less euphoric about it, and we face such a daunting set of problems that I think that’s kind of changed the tenor somewhat of this inauguration.”

The Inaugural Parade will follow  with floats and vehicles from more than 58 groups.
On Saturday evening, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, will host the Kid’s Inaugural Concert.

The event, along with Sunday’s Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball, will honor military families.

Each state will also hold its own celebratory ball.

The nonpartisan Indiana Society of Washington, D.C., will have an inaugural ball for expatriate and visiting Hoosiers. It is traditionally the night before the official inauguration and features a keynote from the current governor.

“It’s nice because they can attend our ball that night and then attend some of the official activities the next day,” said Jan Powell, chairman of the Indiana Society Inaugural Ball.

She said the Indiana Society, founded in 1905, began their ball tradition in 1952, when Hoosiers flocked to President Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration and needed a place to celebrate.

According to a press release, Powell said the Indiana Society solved the problem by having a dinner dance for Hoosiers who traveled to D.C. for the Inauguration.  

Because of the coinciding dates of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Inauguration Day, both the president and vice president will be officially sworn in during a private ceremony on Sunday.

Obama and Biden will officially be sworn in on Sunday.

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