The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Accessibility

Recorded Information

Phone Number  

  • Recorded Voice Information: 202-228-4072 
  • Recorded TTY Information: 202-228-4071   

Congressional Special Services 

Staff of the Congressional Special Services Office will be stationed at all designated accessible seating/standing areas to provide assistance.  Designated seating and standing areas: 

  • North Seating Area - Senate Side (Blue Tickets)  
  • South Seating Area - House Side (Red Tickets) 
  • South Standing Area - Senate Side (Orange Tickets)  
  • South Standing Area - House Side (Green Tickets)   

Staff can be reached Monday - Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at 202-224-4048 (voice) and 202-224-4049 (TTY).  

“Drop-off” Locations

All areas around the Capitol will be restricted to vehicular access on January 21, 2013. If you need to drop someone off as close to the Ceremonies as possible, please follow the directions of the Capitol Police. There will be locations outside the perimeter of the Capitol that will be designated at a later date.  

Tickets 

Every person wishing admittance to the Inaugural Ceremonies, including personal assistants and children, must have a ticket. Individuals without valid tickets will not be admitted.

Tickets are color-coded to facilitate entrance to the Inaugural Ceremonies. Entrance will be granted only at the gate indicated on your ticket.  

The non-ticketed area is on the National Mall beginning at Fourth Street.

Sign Language Interpreters, Open Captioning and Audio Descriptions

Sign Language Interpreters will be located at designated positions within each ticketed section, with the exception of the Mall Standing Area. There will be jumbo-trons (large television screens) with open captioning positioned on the Capitol Plaza (blue, red, green, and yellow ticket holders) and within the Mall Standing Area.  Headsets are available from Visitor Services staff that will provide audio descriptions of the ceremonies for attendees who are blind.

Cameras

Cameras are permitted on the U.S. Capitol grounds.  Tripods, monopods and camera bags, however, are prohibited. 

Cell Phones

Cellular phones are permitted on the U.S. Capitol grounds.  Turn phones off or set to vibrate before the program begins. Extra cell towers have been installed to help mitigate network congestion.

Children

There are no childcare facilities provided to attendees.  Due to increased security and space constraints, strollers are not permitted on the Capitol grounds. Direct questions regarding the admittance of items required for childcare to the U.S. Capitol Police at 202-225-5151.

The Swearing-in Ceremonies are an outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  Inauguration day is typically cold—normally 37° F at noon—and occasionally wet. 

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Elderly

The Swearing-in Ceremonies is an outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  Inauguration day is typically cold—normally 37° F at noon—and occasionally wet. 

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Food and Drink

Food, beverages, and other amenities are not available within the Inaugural Ceremonies perimeter. Do not bring any food item larger than a small snack.  Thermoses are prohibited.

Inside the Event

Movement will be difficult inside the security perimeter.  Please be prepared to stay within the perimeter and within your section from the time you enter the security perimeter and for the duration of the festivities.

Medical Conditions and Medication

Emergency Medical Teams are on-hand in the event of any medical emergencies.  For additional information about permitted items for medical purposes (e.g. insulin), contact the U.S. Capitol Police at 202-225-5151.

Parking

Public parking in Washington, D.C. will be extremely limited.  If you are traveling by car from outside the city, park in a lot near a Metro station and take Metro into Washington.  Expect heavy traffic and road closures.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited within the ticketed viewing areas at the U.S. Capitol:

  • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length), including pocket or hand tools, such as the “Leatherman”
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Sticks, poles, or sign supports
  • Packages, backpacks, large bags, suitcases
  • Thermoses or coolers
  • Strollers
  • Umbrellas
  • Laser pointers
  • Signs or posters
  • Animals (other than service animals)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Glass containers
  • Air horns
  • Non-ADA portable chairs
  • Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screeners.

Restrooms

Outdoor, portable restrooms are located throughout the U.S. Capitol grounds and on the National Mall in both the ticketed and non-ticketed areas.

Security

All ticket holders are required to pass through security screening, including handbag inspection.

Tickets

Every person wishing admittance to the Inaugural Ceremonies, including children, must have a ticket.  Individuals without valid tickets will not be admitted.

Tickets are color-coded to facilitate entrance to the Inaugural Ceremonies. Entrance will be granted only at the gate indicated on your ticket.  Ticket holders should use Metro [link “Metro” to Metro’s website].

The non-ticketed area is on the National Mall beginning at Fourth Street.

Traffic

Large crowds are expected for the Swearing-In Ceremonies, the Inaugural parade, and other festivities.  Expect heavy traffic and road closings.  Use the Metro.

For up-to-date information:

  • On Twitter:
  • Text message alerts: text INAUGURATION to 888777. Text messaging fees may apply according to your cellular plan.

Visiting Washington, DC

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is full of culture, architecture, history and heritage.  For information about and ideas for places not to miss, use the Visiting D.C. section of the U.S. Senate website.

Weather

The Swearing-in Ceremonies are an outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  Inauguration day is typically cold—normally 37° F at noon—and occasionally wet. 

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Attendees should check the local weather forecast for Inauguration Day and plan accordingly.  In the event of rain, umbrellas will not be permitted within the security perimeter.  It is recommended that attendees bring ponchos or rain coats.

Discover more about Inauguration Day weather at the National Weather Service’s Presidential Inaugural Weather website.

What to Wear

There is no official dress code for the swearing-in ceremonies.

It is typically cold on Inauguration Day—normally 37°F—and often wet.  Expect to be outside for more than three hours, to stand in line, and to walk for long periods of time.  Wear a winter coat. Consider wearing comfortable shoes, gloves, a hat and a scarf, and bringing a blanket.

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

When to Arrive

Arrive early for required security screening and anticipate large crowds.  Gates to the Inaugural Ceremonies open at 7 a.m. and the musical prelude begins at 10 a.m.  Be prepared to pass through several security screenings before reaching the section indicated on your ticket.  There will be no check room for prohibited items.

Because of road closures and restricted access around the U.S. Capitol, ticket holders should use Metro.