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.
"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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