WASHINGTON, January 4, 2013 — Want a ticket to see President Barack Obama sworn in for his second term? You and about a million other people. It won’t be easy to snag tickets. But never say never.
Perhaps you will get lucky. Contact your Senator or Congressperson by going to the web sites of the United States Senate or House of Representatives and call or email your elected official to see if any tickets are still available through your state. It’s doubtful that they are, though states like North Dakota or Idaho might have tickets since they have less competition for tickets and it is a long way to travel to reach D.C.
The tickets are free, which is why they are priceless. And the scalpers will be out in full force, trying to see just what priceless translates into in cold cash. Some scalpers are even now contacting people, asking $2,000 per ticket.
Then there are those companies, which specialize in buying or acquiring tickets from people to sell to you at market value. Believe it or not, there are legitimate resellers out there. I checked out one called Great Seats and found I could get a ticket to stand behind the Reflecting Poll for $325 or in front of the Reflectfing Pool for $1,895.
If I were willing to stand behind the seated dignitaries, who sit up closer to the podium, I could pick up one ticket for $7,000 or even pay as much as $12,500, depending on what section I’m in. There is also a waiting list for other sections.
So what about the average American? There will be space back on the Mall, way back with humungous TV screens set up. If you have ever been on the Mall, you know that way back on the Mall can mean almost to the Washington Monument.
So you can’t afford the “free” tickets and you didn’t ask your Senator in time, now what to do?
The Parade Has Some Good Viewing
There’s always the Inaugural Parade. Most of the route is free, if you don’t mind standing and coming early to get a good spot. After President Obama and Vice President Biden are sworn in and the inaugural luncheon (no, you can’t get tickets to that, never, ever), the 2013 Inaugural Parade marches down 15 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
It usually begins at 2 p.m. and lasts for two hours. Presidents have been leading the parade since the first inauguration of George Washington, sometimes on horseback, in a horse and buggy, in a limo, or on foot, as did Presidents Carter, George W. Bush, and Obama.
The Parade this year is coordinated by the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee with the Presidential Inaugural Committee or PIC. Go to PIC for more information.
What if you want to sit? There is bleacher seating along the route and in front of the White House and it’s free, but limited and only with tickets.
Ten to one those free tickets are gone too. As PIC points out, you can sometimes get them from resellers. So again I went to Great Seats to see what a “free” bleacher ticket would now cost me.
If I want to sit in the bleachers a bit away from the White House between 7th and 11th Streets, one ticket will cost me $450, but if I want to be somewhere between 11th and 13th Streets, then I would need to shell out $675 per ticket. Looks like spots on the bleachers in front of the White House are all taken.
So while you will not get to hear any of the Inaugural speeches, you will still have a grand spot to view the parade. But even standing on the curb, you will have a closer view than you would have had at the back of the Mall.
Of course you can always opt to stay home and watch the whole proceedings from the warmth of your living room.
No ticket is required. Many of you will be home anyway since Inauguration Day is also a nation-wide holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
To read more on the cost of the Inauguration to taxpayers, go to: 2013 Inauguration: How much will it cost you?
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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