Home ReadWriteWeb Guide to Celebrating Inauguration Day

ReadWriteWeb Guide to Celebrating Inauguration Day

On Tuesday millions of people will flock to Washington DC to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn in as our 44th President. But what if you can’t get there? Well, turns out in this digital age it’s not a problem; as Obama recently pointed out “you don’t have to brave the crowds and commotion in order to participate in this celebration.”

While various news outlets will be streaming the event, we’ve compiled this list of online resources to make it easier for those of you who wish to navigate the inauguration virtually. Included are Inaugural Week events, where to watch the Inauguration online, how to stay up-to-date with news, what to do if you’re heading to DC, and links to interesting and [we hope] fun sites.

Inaugural Week Events

Sunday January 18

We Are One

Inaugural Week begins tomorrow at 2.30pm with a free and open to the public celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. HBO will broadcast the event at 2.30pm ET and Encore will run the footage at 7pm ET or, just watch it online.

Monday January 19

Renew America Together

President-elect Obama has chosen the eve of his inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. Day to launch “Renew America Together,” a call for Americans to make an ongoing commitment to serve their communities. Along with Vice President-elect Biden, Obama will be participating in service projects in Washington D.C. to honor Dr. King’s legacy. To find an event in your community, visit USA Service and type in your zip code.

Kids’ Inaugural: We Are The Future

On Monday night at 7 pm Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will host a free kids’ inaugural concert at The Verizon Center to honor the children of military families. The concert will be broadcast on the Disney Channel at 8/7c, simulcast on Radio Disney and streamed on Disney.com. Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers are two of the artists confirmed.

Tuesday January 20: Inauguration Day

Swearing-In Ceremony

At 11:30 am, at the west front of the U.S. Capitol, the President-elect will become President Obama. For the first time ever, the length of the National Mall will be open to those wishing to attend the swearing-in ceremony. No tickets are required; download a map (PDF) here.

Inaugural Parade

At around 2.30 pm, the 56th Inaugural Parade makes its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. You can browse the list of groups that have accepted an invitation to march at this year’s event.

Neighborhood Inaugural Ball

The first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 7 pm and include performances by some of the music world’s finest. ABC will air the event live from 8:00 – 10:00 pm ET, and the main event will be linked to other neighborhood ball parties happening across the country.

Where to Watch the Inauguration Online

Live Feed and Virtual Flight over Washington DC

Harris Corporation is offering Internet and television viewers high definition views of the Presidential Inaugural Parade route and 3-D virtual views of downtown Washington, D.C. Harris is also providing a live video feed of the parade route from a webcam positioned atop the J.W. Marriott Hotel in the heart of downtown Washington. The feed has been live since Friday.

Presidential Inauguration Committee Web Site

Using Silverlight technology, the Presidential Inauguration Committee website will be live streaming video of the official swearing-in ceremony on its site. The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30 am ET on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Hulu – The Obama Presidency

Hulu will also be live streaming the 2009 Inauguration, but until then you can watch past inaugural speeches (23) or check out the Obama Presidency page that hosts a variety of videos by category: Speeches and Press Conferences (11), Weekly Addresses (8), Commentary (224), Humor (52), Debate (1).

Ustream: Barack Obama Inauguration Day Live

If you want a more social experience watch live video on Ustream which gives you the option of interactive chat.

For more ideas on where to watch the inauguration online, take a look at Liz Gannes list over on NewTeeVee.

Staying Up To Date with Inaugural News

Note: You can now download Obama videos directly from the ChangeDotGov channel on YouTube as pointed out yesterday by Anthony Ha over on VentureBeat.

If You’re Heading to DC

Join Flickr in Washington

Flickr has just launched a Countdown to the Inauguration 2009 for people to share photos and video of the event. They are also hosting a meetup and are inviting Flickr fans to their party on the 20th from noon until 8 pm.

Participate in a 3D Photosynth of the Inauguration

If you’ve got a digital camera and are going to be among the millions attending why not help create a three-dimensional image of this single moment and be part of crowdsourcing history.

Get Free Wi-Fi from iPass

In a tweet earlier today, iPass offered free Wi-Fi to anyone travelling to DC this weekend. Read the tweet and send an e-mail.

Find Free Wi-Fi in Washington

Another useful resource if you’re heading to DC, the Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory provides a list of places that offer free Wi-Fi.

Certain Roads and Bridges Will be Closed in DC

According to the Uptake blog, there will be significant road and bridge closures in DC and it just might be worthwhile checking out the Metro Rail system.

Interesting Inauguration Facts

Obama’s People: 2009 Inauguration Gallery

Obama’s People is a selection of photographs by Nadav Kander of Obama’s advisors, aides and members of his incoming administration; 52 portraits in all. Watching the gallery, you’ll hear Kander and Kathy Ryan, director of photography at the New York Times Magazine, talk about what happened during the shoot.

High Tech Traffic Information Solutions for Security Officials

On January 20, transportation and security officials will have a centralized, consolidated stream of traffic information and other data displayed on a single screen using software developed by the University of Maryland. The idea is to enhance officials’ ability to monitor vehicular traffic, accidents, incidents, response plans, air space, and weather conditions.

FBI Security Support for Tuesday’s Inauguration

Earlier today the FBI Washington Field Office issued a press release stating that a wide variety of tactical response vehicles will be available for Tuesdays Inauguration.

The vehicles include a state-of-the-art mobile command post, an armored assault vehicle, WMD response vehicles, evidence recovery team vehicles, and bomb trucks. More information and images are available on the site.

Fun Inauguration Facts

Hotels within a 50 mile radius of Washington DC booked out

According to the Uptake Vacations Blog, inauguration insanity has taken a firm hold over Washington DC hotels, all hotels within a 50 mile radius being booked out. Fortunately, it seems bars have been given the green light to stay open until 5 am and for restaurants to serve food 24hrs a day from January 17th – 20th.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington worth $300,111,000

According to the Zillow blog, you would have to earn more than $53 million a year to afford the $1.48 million monthly mortgage that you’d be hit with if you were purchasing the White House. Take a look at who could potentially afford it.

A Poem for Barack

Shortly after the election of Barak Obama, Edna O’Brien “felt compelled to write a poem about this remarkable and unique man,” according to The Daily Beast. You can listen to O’Brien read it or read it yourself.

The Obama Inauguration Speech Generator

A fun site as described by Adam Ostrow over at Mashable, the Obama Inauguration Speech Generator asks that you select choice adjectives, verbs, and nouns, which it then generates into a speech for you. The results can be quite interesting.

Useful Inauguration Links

Don’t forget. If you’ve got suggestions for the new administration, you’ve still got time to share them in the Citizens Briefing Book. Tbe CBB will be open until tomorrow night (Sunday 18th January, 6pm). Submit ideas, vote and comment on others and the best ideas will be delivered to the new president after he is sworn in.

So, how will you be spending Inauguration Day?

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