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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tough conditions at Obama inauguration



So Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch asked U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis for tickets to President-elect Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration. Bilirakis' office came through, sending an e-mail to Welch offering two seats at the swearing-in. But check out the warnings from Bilirakis' office that came with the offer.

It may be historic, but it sure doesn't sound comfortable.

"Please keep in mind that January in Washington, D.C., tends to be very cold and damp (often in the 20s or 30s and occasionally snowing) ... Also, keep in mind that there will be absolutely NO food or water allowed on the premises. Additionally, there will only be one facility for every 6,000 people, and you will most likely be required to remain at the inauguration site from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. without being able to leave and come back."


Welch decided not to take the tickets, but for other reasons. Accommodations in D.C, he said, are going for $800 to $900 a night.

"For that kind of money we could buy an HDTV and watch it in high definition and keep the TV," Welch said.

Are you going? Let us know.

Will Van Sant, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:43am]


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