This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rachael Gerendasy
Viewers struggled to catch a glimpse of the inaugural parade, which had a sluggish start thanks to a 45-minute delay, as thousands lined up along Pennsylvania Avenue Monday.
President Barack Obama and the first family began their march near the Navy Memorial on 7th Street after vendors and spectators had already crammed the route – spanning from the Capitol building to the White House – since early morning. The parade was originally slated to start at 2:30 p.m., but the inaugural luncheon pushed the procession’s kick-off to 3:15.
Ticket-holders huddled around entrance gates, straining to see the floats and marching bands, and some chose to go home early. Frustrated attendees argued with security, saying their tickets should have assured them access to the sights.
Christen Fraser from Orlando, Fla. said he had expected a large crowd, but he still had hoped he would get a peek at the president in the flesh.
“That’s why I came out here today,” Fraser said.
Students had trouble not only snagging a spot with a view, but also maneuvering among the 8,800 attendees.
“We came to see the parade but we can’t get in because of security. It’s such a long line,” Evan Doynow, a junior, said.
Groups showcased in the parade included the Georgia State University marching band, the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Lesbian and Gay Band Association of St. Louis. Some students managed to stay optimistic despite the drawbacks from the packed streets.
“I’m just here to experience all of it,” freshman Aleah Brown said. “Even if I don’t get to see anything. I just want to be here for history.”
- Tiana Pigford contributed to this report