Local News

All about Obama's inauguration

A guide to WRAL's coverage of the inauguration -- on TV and online.

Posted Updated
Obama inauguration logo
WASHINGTON — WRAL News is headed to Washington, along with millions of other Americans, to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

WRAL in D.C.

David Crabtree will anchor our coverage beginning Sunday night. Dan Bowens will report from the National Mall. Gerald Owens will join a busload of fellow North Carolinians and reporting on their journey.

They'll be blogging, too, contributing stories, photos and video about the crowds and chaos to WRAL.com starting early Monday.

WRAL-TV and WRAL.com will offer live coverage throughout the day on Tuesday, beginning with the WRAL Morning News at 5 and extending through the day.

Tune in to WRAL News beginning at 5 p.m. for a wrap-up of the day's events, then log on to WRAL.com for a CBS special report in prime time on WRAL.com. We'll cap the festivities with live coverage from David and Dan in WRAL News at 11.

Share your stories

You can share your thoughts on the historic event during a live blog on GOLO from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you are going to Washington, D.C., we want to share your stories as well. Send us an e-mail about your experience. Upload a photo or video from your cell phone. We'll publish your experiences on WRAL.com and the best may make TV.

Log Tuesday for photo galleries of the ceremony, parade and inaugural balls.

Getting there, getting around

Washington, D.C., police estimate as many as 4 million people will crowd into the district Monday and Tuesday.

Fewer than 600,000 tickets were available to see the swearing-in and parade. The rest of the crowd will gather on the National Mall, where there will be jumbo TVs broadcasting the swearing-in.

Washington's Metro system will run subway trains and buses throughout the day, but officials say they expect major delays downtown. Driving is discouraged as a large portion of downtown streets will have restricted access from Monday at 3 p.m. through Wednesday at 7 a.m.

All the bridges entering D.C. from Virginia will be closed at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Most roads and bridges are expected to reopen by 7 p.m. Inauguration Day.

The DOT will be using dynamic message signs to inform motorists of heavy traffic conditions expected north of Richmond, Va. The department will also be working with transportation officials in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to alert northbound and southbound motorists of any incidents and delays.

Schedule of events

The Associated Press released this schedule of some official and unofficial activities surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20:


National Day of Community Service event: To honor Dr. King's legacy, Obama, Biden and their families, joined by Americans across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.

Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the Texas State Society, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Green Inaugural Ball at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. Ball hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.

Huffington Post preinaugural ball at the Newseum.

Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts. Hosted by the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, among others.

A children's evening concert at the Verizon Center honoring military families. Event hosted by Michelle Obama, who will attend. Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers are among the entertainers.

Obama to attend three private dinners to honor former secretary of State Colin Powell, Biden and Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, for their public service. Dinners at the Hilton Washington, National Building Museum and Union Station.


Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. They will include:

Musical selections of The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein provides call to order and welcoming remarks.

Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren.

Musical selection of Aretha Franklin.

Biden will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Musical selection of John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln's Inaugural Bible, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Scheduled around noon.

Obama gives the inaugural address.

Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.

Benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

The National Anthem by The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters."

After Obama gives inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host 10 official inaugural balls:

Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum.

Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.

Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.

Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.

Unofficial balls include:

Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.

Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.

Recording Industry Association of America's ball for Feeding America.

BET's Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.

Human Rights Campaign's Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.

Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Impact Film Fund ball.


The president, vice president and their families will participate in a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Copyright 2024 by WRAL.com and the Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.