For such a solemn occasion - a vow to faithfully execute the office and to defend the Constitution of the United States -- an American presidential swearing-in can be a heck of a party.
War and bad weather have subdued a few ceremonies in the past. But generally, the inauguration of a new president has been a reason for at least half the voting public to celebrate. And it's a chance for the whole country to come together in awe of the democratic process and against whatever foe or hardship the nation faces.
At least 2 million people are expected in Washington on Jan. 20 to hear Barack Obama take the oath of office at noon, listen to his speech afterward and try to catch a glimpse of the parade.
Those who can't make the trip to the nation's capital but want to witness the inauguration of the first African-American president will have their choice of celebrations in the Triangle.
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"We wanted to keep the momentum going," said Lori Jones Tyson, an organizer of Durham for Obama, which helped with the candidate's campaign and is planning a party for as many as 500 people that evening.
Tyson said she has never before taken an interest in a presidential inauguration, but she was captivated by Obama's campaign. Tyson, who is black, wants to celebrate the victory -- for herself, her children and her future grandchildren, and for her father, who died in 2003.
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