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Officials Put Finishing Touches On Inauguration Plans

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Military bands and other officials held the last dress rehearsal for the inaugural parade Sunday.
Patrick Madden
Military bands and other officials held the last dress rehearsal for the inaugural parade Sunday.

With the presidential inauguration just one week away, organizers in the nation's capital held their final dress rehearsal over the weekend.

With the booming military music, the lines of service members marching in step and the gleaming viewing stands set up along Pennsylvania Avenue, Sunday's rehearsal featured all of the pomp and circumstance of Inauguration day — without the massive crowds. That made the dry run a special treat for those who came to watch.

"Anchors away, stars and stripes, I was humming along," said Rebecca Adelman, who lives right off the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route. She woke up to the sounds of military marching music echoing throughout her apartment.

"I grew up listening to military, my dad was in the Scott guard band," she says. Adelman, who became a U.S. citizen last year, attended the inauguration four years ago.

"It was bitterly cold, how sorry I felt for all of these kids, lined up for hours," she said of all the young people who came out to the inauguration in 2009. 

One of those "kids" this time around will be Kimberly Schmidt, a student at American University. She was on hand Sunday to get a closer look at the inauguration prep, and says she will definitely return for the real thing on the 21st.    

"Just the fact that it's history. You don't always get to see a president going into office," she says. "To say that you were here, looking back 10 years from now."

Sunday may have been the closest Schmidt will get to the parade, though, given the expected crowds.

"Yeah, so that's why I came, so at least i get to see the practice," she says. 

In front of the White House, where uniformed service members practiced their military marching skills, Carrie Taylor from Rockville took in the scene with her husband and their new puppy. 

"I think its really exciting, its interesting to see the traditions, the formality of it," she says. "And i mean you don't see that often with politics in the U.S." They probably won't attend the real thing, however, Taylor says. 

"With the crowd, probably not," she says. "We are definitely going to watch it on TV."

Inauguration planners are expecting anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 people on hand for the event. That's about half the crowd size from four years ago.

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