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Presidential Inauguration

Dear Friends:

In my nearly 22 years in Congress, I have never seen the tremendous level excitement that has been generated by the Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.  Because of the significant interest in attending Inaugural events, I would like to convey the following information which I hope will prove useful.

Official tickets to the Inaugural Ceremonies are provided free of charge.  All Members of the House of Representatives will receive 198 tickets to the swearing in.  All Senators will receive 393 tickets.  Since I have received ticket requests from more than 8000 constituents, I can no longer process requests but will continue to communicate via email updates to all whom are interested in Inaugural events.  As I receive details about alternate viewing locations, bus parking, security measures, etc. I will be sure to pass them along to you.  Within in the next few weeks, I will send emails to update constituents on the status of their ticket request and detail my ticket distribution process.  Please Sign Up Here For Updates.  If you have already sent a ticket request, you will automatically receive these updates.

Unfortunately, our office has received reports of individuals or organizations claiming to offer Inauguration ceremony tickets to those willing to pay for them, often including travel and lodging costs in the fee. Constituents should be advised that no one claiming to have tickets, including those for sale, is actually in possession of tickets, as none have been distributed.  The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies distributes tickets directly to the Members of the 111th Congress in mid-January.

If you are planning to travel to Washington D.C. during the time of the Inauguration, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, I suggest making travel arrangements as soon as possible, as most flights and hotels are already completely booked. Keep in mind that this event is historically cold and wet. The crowds will be very large and guests will likely be outside for at least four hours. Food and beverage, large bags (including diaper bags), and strollers are not permitted in ticketed areas.  Because of the dense crowds, mobility is likely to be a challenge.  Please take these challenges into consideration when planning your trip.

Also, please be advised that my office does not distribute tickets for the Morning Worship Service, Procession to the Capitol, Inaugural Luncheon, Inaugural Parade, or Inaugural Balls.  The following committees should be contacted regarding these Inaugural events:


  • The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is responsible for all balls, galas, receptions, parties, and the official Inaugural Day Parade.  The members of PIC are appointed by President-elect Obama and the committee has not yet been established.  I will keep you up-to-date on PIC’s decisions and contact information as they become available.


  • Though the parade is managed by PIC, requests to participate in the parade should be submitted to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee.  The deadline was Tuesday, November 18th.  After all requests are collected, they are submitted to the Presidential Inaugural Committee for participant selection.

Thank you again for your interest the Presidential Inauguration and for your support of President-elect Barack Obama. I look forward to contacting you with further Inauguration information as it becomes available.


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John Lewis
Member of Congress

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