Inauguration Tickets of Doom

from: popandpolitics

by: wendy carrillo

The Coveted Ceremony Ticket…
Disclaimer: This is the story the news won’t tell you: How the Inauguration Committee just screwed everyone over.
I was excited when I received news that I would be receiving tickets to the inauguration of President Obama. The line to pick up the ticket at my congressional office was about 40 minutes long, not bad considering some people waited more than three hours.
On inauguration day, Estee —my awesome friend who hosted me for the week—and I headed out from Chinatown DC, which is less than a mile away from the Capital building around 5am.
The walk turned into a nightmare when we realized all the streets were closed and we were not allowed access. We went all the way around the barricades to where the Purple ticket holders were being allowed in, only to be told we were at the wrong place. We then had to haul it all the way back to the back for a good 5 five blocks in the 12 degree weather to go under the 3rd street tunnel which almost took us to Virginia. It was a very long walk underneath the city’s infrastructure, and quite cold.
When we finally arrived to the entryway, we made our way to more closed streets and found our way into the Silver ticket area that was extremely crowded and cold.
We waited for a good four hours before we started getting delirious.
By 11am, we realized we had not moved by much and people were not budging. Some were saying that the entry was on the lefthand side and I overheard people saying they didn’t have tickets.
How they got to the actual gateway without tickets was the problem. Most of the people blocking the way were people that were not ticket holders and had scrambled their way into the area. They were completely blocking the entry ways and were not at all concerned.
Estee and I decided that we were not going to put up with that and let out inner ghetto-queens come out. I had not flowed all the way from East LA and endured this crazy cold weather only to stand in a crowd of people and not see anything at all.
We started making our way to the left side of Maryland and 3rd St., pushing our way out.
“I need to pee!” I yelled out.
Some other people who got hip to the game started following us. By this point the speeches were beginning and we only had a short time. Twenty minutes later, we came out victorious to the other side of wall of hundreds of people only to be told by the officers that we were not going to be let inside.
WHAT?!
“We are ticket holders and you are going to let us in!” Estee yelled at the officer.
Sure enough, he resigned his position and let us in as we rushed our way into the lawn area.
We arrived just in time to see Barack Obama take his fumbled oath. (Seriously, how could Chief Justice Roberts flub up the oath the way he did?)
Nonetheless, “seeing” the oath is relative. We couldn’t really see anything, there were trees blocking the way, and there were no jumbo trons for our area and everyone was standing.
The speaker system was lousy and everything sounded like an echo. The oath took about 30 seconds and Obama’s speech as about 20 minutes long.
We were in line for 5 hours to see a 30 second oath and a 20 minute speech.
While the inauguration itself was a historic moment in our Nations history, much of the televised coverage depicted was not accurate. Ticket holders were treated the worst, and some never made it inside their designated areas. Meanwhile, those that showed up to be a part of the event took hold of the Mall area and its jumbo trons had best time. Facebook groups have already begun to form. And yes, I also started one.
2009 Inaugural Ceremony Tickets Nearly Killed Me!
Purplegate – “Let Us In!”
Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom
At the end of the day, with the thousands of people that arrived, the Metro was completely shut down, since the streets were closed off, buses could not run, and taxi’s were not available. There was nothing to do but walk in the 20 degree weather and hope for the best.
Once the festivities were over, everyone was instructed to move one direction and there was no way we were going back into the tunnel of doom, which in retrospect was bad choice, we were then held hostage under “security measures” and not allowed to leave the lawn until the inaugural parade was over. Add another three hours in the cold weather with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat.
We saw the motorcade with Obama and family and the Bidens. By this point, it was hard to be excited. Really wished I had stayed home and watched in on CNN online.
Overall, we were finally allowed to leave around 3:30pm and we arrived home, walking off course, around 5pm, a whole 12 hours later.
I was so exhausted I did not go to any, which is ironic because I was staying 2 blocks away from the convention center.
The best part of the day was heating up a frozen lasagna, popping a champagne and watching the balls on CNN online.
Overall, the whole thing was OVERRATED.
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5 thoughts on “Inauguration Tickets of Doom

  1. Derek says:

    Come on now! It was a historic event. A Bajillion ppl wanted to be there… that place wasn’t made for a million visitors and everyone knew in advance it was going to be a nightmare! Just be happy you got to go at all! 😛

  2. Derek says:

    Come on now! It was a historic event. A Bajillion ppl wanted to be there… that place wasn’t made for a million visitors and everyone knew in advance it was going to be a nightmare! Just be happy you got to go at all! 😛

  3. Lilly on the Rocks says:

    I agree with Derek, how many people can say they were THERE except for about a million out of a Bajillion. You were one of those! Yet, I am glad I got to see it in the true American fashion, at home laying on the couch with a blanket, popcorn and iced tea.

  4. Lilly on the Rocks says:

    I agree with Derek, how many people can say they were THERE except for about a million out of a Bajillion. You were one of those! Yet, I am glad I got to see it in the true American fashion, at home laying on the couch with a blanket, popcorn and iced tea.

  5. wendycarrillo says:

    yeah, looking at it now. i am really blessed to be able to do some of the things i do and go to some of the places i go too…
    but damn was it cold!

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