Tips and tricks for watching the inaugural parade

Instead of standing in huge crowds, head down to Pennsylvania Avenue to see performance groups, floats and the country’s new president in the 58th inaugural parade.

This year’s inaugural parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Inauguration Day following the swearing-in ceremony. The parade procession, which is led by the presidential motorcade and followed by marching bands, floats and the newly inaugurated president and first lady, will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue from Capitol Hill and end at the White House.

Here are some things to think about to make the most of viewing the inaugural parade.

Pennsylvania Avenue will be lined with free public bleachers and standing sections for parade spectators. Areas directly across from the White House will have bleachers available for people who have purchased tickets through the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

If you’re headed out to the parade and are searching for the best seats on the bleachers or place to stand on Pennsylvania Avenue, you should plan to arrive by 7 a.m. when security checkpoints open. Students can walk down Pennsylvania Avenue from campus for the best chance at snagging seats near the White House.

Forty organizations from around the country will march in the parade. Those groups include firefighters, veterans, a Texas swing dancing troupe, a gospel quartet, the Boy Scouts of America and ten high school marching bands.

The parade includes groups from several universities and states, but none from D.C. or GW. GW created a float for the inaugural parade in 2009, and at least one D.C. public school has been featured in the parade for the past 20 years until this year.

Along the parade route, security checkpoints will be spread out incrementally and all visitors will need to go through security to access the parade route.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has issued a list of banned items for the event, including pets, large backpacks, weapons, drones, metal containers and selfie sticks. Attendees will not be able to enter through secured areas with these items.

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