Obama inauguration hype fizzles as event nears

January 12, 2009 3:55:03 PM PST
Past inaugurations won't top the millions of people making their way to see Senator Barack Obama sworn into office. But there are signs that the hype over the 2009 presidential inauguration may be fizzling out. Arnold Davis, general manager of Horton's Transit Service, said he had to cancel one bus. "I had two, but I had to drop one because people were backing out."

Horton's Transit planned to drive two bus loads from the Triangle to Washington, D.C., but Davis said something changed.

"A lot of people thought about it and decided it's going to be cold up there," he explained. "I'm going to have to be standing around walking, [and] I don't know what's going to happen. So, I'm going to stay home and watch it on TV."

Davis said he still has empty seats on the remaining bus. Originally, about 80 people signed up for the trip, filling two buses. About half of those people changed their minds, leaving Davis with one bus.

The fear of overcrowded streets, no place to stay, tight security and cold temperature have scared off those who wanted to experience the historical event in person.

Estimates of people traveling to D.C. has dropped significantly from a reported 5 million to less than 2 million.

But for some, Davis said the thrill and thought of seeing the nation's first black president sworn into office is worth the risks.

"I've had two or three say, 'I don't care if it's 40 below zero and 25 inches of snow, if he's there to take the swearing in I will be there to watch.'"

It's a historic moment some say they don't want to miss.


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