Despite spending millions of (non-taxpayer) dollars — a significant chunk of it earmarked for an unprecedented anti-terrorism security effort — some best-laid plans for some of the ceremonies and festivities included in this week’s 55th U.S. Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC may have to be changed at the last minute due to forces outside the government’s control. The snowy, cold January weather that moved across much of the country during the past week showed up in the nation’s capital just in time to create concern whether the gathered participants and spectators can endure the frigid temperatures and/or windchills, or if some events will need to be moved inside.
At least as planned, the January 20 inauguration includes a carefully orchestrated procession of official events [PDF: 120kb], including the re-taking of the oath of office by re-elected George W. Bush, a parade, lunch banquet and ending with a flurry of social events into the night. Numerous PDF-based documents available on the U.S. Senate’s Inauguration Web site shed insights into some of the logistics and the ensuing hoopla — including what’s on the official luncheon menu [PDF: 48kb], and even the recipes [PDF: 428kb] for whipping up the same meal — featuring ‘Scalloped Crab and Lobster’ and ‘Roasted Missouri Quail’ — for anyone so inclined.
As part of the intense security, only ticket holders will be able to get near the key events — and then only after passing through the special on-site screening. The ‘Guidelines for Inauguration Ceremonies‘ [PDF: 96kb] document includes a map showing where the various color-coded tickets provide viewing access, and also lists prohibited items ‘that may pose a threat to the security of the event.’
The list makes no mention of snow or ice.