The historic election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States has prompted many Democrats in the Capital Region to make plans to travel to Washington to attend the inauguration on Jan. 20.
Wade Tours, a charter bus company based at 797 Burdeck St. in Schenectady, has set up a special presidential inauguration package on its Web site, detailing the companies’ two trip offerings to view the swearing-in ceremonies for the nation’s 44th president. Wade Tours marketing spokesman Greg Delorenzo said his company has been inundated with interest.
“They’re booking up pretty quick. We keep adding buses. I don’t think we’ll ever turn work away; we just keep adding buses,” Delorenzo said.
Wade Tours is offering a day trip to see the inauguration, which leaves at midnight Jan. 19 and costs $100 per person. The trip departs for the Capital Region after the inauguration ceremonies, arriving the same night. The company is also offering a three-night trip starting Jan. 18 that includes the hotel stay, breakfasts, dinners and tickets to the inauguration and other tourist attractions for $1,085 for a single person or $799 each for a couple.
“As part of the day trip we’re estimating five [buses] right now. We’ve got two already booked,” Delorenzo said.
Yankee Trails World Travel is also offering a similar day trip on its Web site. Yankee Trails is charging travelers $75 per person to leave Jan. 19 and arrive Jan. 20 at approximately 8 a.m. The company warns that the inauguration will be standing room only and customers should “wear comfortable shoes.”
U.S. Rep.-elect Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, said he will attend the inauguration after he is sworn in as a member of Congress earlier in January. He said this will be the second inauguration he’s attended, having gone to President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1992.
“There will be plenty of people from the Capital Region coming down for the inauguration and the festivities. There’s a parade and inaugural balls taking place. I’m sure there will be many, many people from our region making the trip,” Tonko said. “This is historic, there’s no denying that, and that dynamic adds to an even greater interest. It’s going to be a wonderful moment in history.”
Colonie Democratic Committee Chairman Phil Steck, who ran in the Democratic primary for Congress and lost to Tonko, said he won’t be attending the inauguration although he was one of the few New York Democrats who endorsed Obama in his primary battle with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve been campaigning now for two years straight. I’m very happy to stay here at home with my family,” Steck said.
Delorenzo said he thinks the historic nature of Obama’s victory, as the first black man elected president, and that he’s a Democrat are the primary reasons why so many people want to see his inauguration.
“We’re in a highly concentrated Democratic area. We didn’t see this with Bush. It’s just Obama; he’s history in the making,” he said.