Presidential Inaugural Rehearsal: The Parade

Marching On: Suurimmaanitchuat Eskimo Dance Group

WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 01/18/09–Many groups marching in the 56th Inaugural Parade will travel just a couple stops on the Washington, D.C. Metro to arrive at the US Capitol for the start of the event. But for others, the trip won’t be quite so easy: the 22 members of the Suurimmaanitchuat Eskimo Dance Group will have to trek well over 5,000 miles from the northern coast of Alaska to our nation’s capital on the north bank of the Potomac River.

With all the pomp and circumstance befitting a presidential inauguration, military and local school bands practiced marching down Pennsylvania Avenue last week to the steady beat of drums and the occasional patriotic hymn. About 3,000 people braved the wintry morning air to participate in the dry-run for the Inaugural Parade; that’s under a third of the number of participants set to march from the Capitol to the White House on January 20th.

Camouflaged soldiers lined Pennsylvania Avenue, vigilantly watching the stream of bands, colorguards and stand-ins for the future president and vice president. The handful of bands today gave a preview to what the 90-plus groups from as far away as Barrow, Alaska—the northernmost settlement in North America—have in store for January 20th. Read more about the range of talent marching in the parade here.
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Spectators snapped photos of the rehearsal, knowing this might be the closest they’ll get to seeing the real thing. Earlier this week, the 5,000 parade tickets we made available sold out in under a minute on Ticketmaster. Tickets guarantee a bleacher seat along the parade route, but there also will be standing room that’s first come, first served.