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Archive for Sunday, January 11, 2009

Obama’s inauguration by the numbers

January 11, 2009

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— One ton each of chocolate and cheese. About 1,500 cases of beer. Eight hundred pounds of bison.

Those are just a few items that the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington’s largest hotel, is stocking for the 49,000 meals it expects to serve Jan. 17 through Inauguration Day. The hotel is among many businesses and government agencies trying to quantify whatever they can before President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in on Jan. 20.

“It’s just amazing,” said Christopher Otway, the Wardman’s catering director. “The chef hands you the list and says these are the quantities they need and you say, ‘Oh my God!’”

For inaugural planners, dealing with the numbers at first was daunting, said Peter Gage, parade director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The trick to keeping track? “You’ve got to break it down,” Gage said.

A rundown of the numbers, including more than a few estimates:

• 432, total Presidential Inaugural Committee staff members.

• 0, how many of the free 240,000 tickets that have been distributed thus far for the swearing-in ceremony. They go out this week.

• 58, law-enforcement and other agencies working on security.

• 8,000, District of Columbia police officers on duty, and those hired from departments around the country.

• 1,000, U.S. Park Police officers on duty, and those hired from outside departments.

• 550, Metro transit police on duty, and those hired from outside departments.

• 10,000, National Guardsmen helping law enforcement agencies in and around the city.

• 120,000, passengers Metro trains can carry per hour on Inauguration Day.

• 2 million, inauguration subway maps Metro is printing.

• 10,000, charter buses expected to descend on the city.

• 13,000, military and civilian participants in the inaugural parade, including marching bands.

• 10, large screens broadcasting swearing-in on the National Mall.

• 1,000, vendors so far who have received licensed spots to sell wares around parade route and city streets.

• 15,000 to 18,000, volunteers helping Presidential Inaugural Committee around the city.

• 10, official inaugural balls.

• 12,000, eggs that chefs at the Willard InterContinental Hotel will use for meals from Jan. 17 through the inauguration.

• 10,000, square footage of the swearing-in stage.

• 6, number of bicycle rickshaws D.C. Pedicab plans to operate.

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