This unique and stressful campaign is finally over. President-elect Donald Trump, a non-politician, has been elected as the 45th president of the U.S. in a groundbreaking election that could arguably go down as one of the most shocking in our country’s history.
When Trump stands on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, thousands of his followers will undoubtedly be packed into the surrounding area to bear witness to his ascent to the presidency. The day will be historic, and there are a few tricks to ensure you have a chance to be present for every detail.
If you want to attend the swearing-in ceremony, you must have tickets, which are free and distributed through your local representative or senator’s office. However, if you’re content with channeling your inner tailgate-king persona, the National Mall will have giant video screens and audio systems for thousands of spectators to watch the ceremony.
If you fail to get a ticket, but are desperate to catch a glimpse of our new leader, camp out on Pennsylvania Avenue where he will pass in a bulletproof vehicle as part of the inaugural parade.
There are also a select few bleacher seats available for reservation to watch the historic drive by.
Parking will be extremely limited due to road closures and massive crowds so try to get a hotel in the immediate area. Or, for those who haven’t struck the lottery, pay a much cheaper rate for a room on the other side of the city and take the Metro.
Trip Advisor has some hotels asking for as much as $3,199 a night and many of the more affordable options have already booked up. Airbnb still has rooms averaging $243 per night, though you could always reconnect with your Aunt Martha who lives in the area and crash in her basement to save some cash.
The ultimate American experience -— hotdog stands — will be available outside the area. However, attendees are encouraged to bring their own snacks for the long, cold day.
Check closer to the event for what has been deemed a prohibited item as the list changes every year.
Tickets to the inaugural balls, both official and unofficial, will be available to the public. Attendees can dress up and join in on the festivities. For tickets to the official inaugural ball, contact the Presidential Inaugural Committee. For the others, contact the host venue or organization.
Thousands of people are estimated to go watch the 45th president get the keys to the White House. So be prepared to wait outside for hours in the cold. In 2009, temperatures were below freezing, though they normally average in mid-30s by the noon ceremony.
When the night is over and Trump and his family officially move into the White House, where they will remain for at least four more years, many attendees will be headed for the nearest bar.
Luckily, Washington D.C. has an abundance of fantastic options for half- frozen attendees. Brine has a whiskey library of nearly 200 bottles, ensuring all of those memories you had paid a fortune to accumulate can be washed away in one evening.
For cocktail lovers: 2 Birds, 1 Stone offers a unique weekly cocktail special list and homemade ginger soda. Millie & Al’s is a dive bar that offers dirt-cheap pizza and $1 Jell-O shots.