Things to Think About

The National Park Service is proud to be part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, but our primary job is to ensure the safety of visitors to the National Mall and the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue.

We will have medical personnel, family reunification tents and more on hand to ensure your safety, but we would like to encourage you to prepare for what may be a long, cold, hectic and crowded day.

Some tips:

  • Check the weather forecast before you head out. Weather in Washington DC is unpredictable and can change very quickly.
  • Be prepared to stand in the cold for long periods of time.
  • Be prepared to be in a large crowd.
  • Be prepared to walk long distances.
  • Dress in layers. If snow or rain is a possibility, prepare as if it were a certainty.
  • Wear comfortable footwear. Getting to and from from the National Mall and parade route will mean a walk of some distance.
  • If you are bringing small children, carry a recent photo of them, or better yet, take a photo of them that day on your phone. Put your contact information in their pockets.
  • Bring snacks and water with you. There will be vendors throughout the event area, but the lines can be lengthy.
  • Bring necessary medications.
  • Be patient, be patient, be patient. There will be long lines to get on the Mall, at the Metro, and elsewhere. You should start out for the event early and plan extra time for getting home.
  • When you arrive, locate bathrooms, first aid tents, and places to get warm.
  • Cell phone use may be limited. Have an alternate plan for staying in touch. Designate a meeting place and time in case you get separated from your group.

And finally, at the conclusion of the Inauguration, there are sure to be long lines to get on the Metro. To avoid the crowds and give them time to thin out, spend some time visiting the many memorials on the west end of the Mall. Rangers and volunteers can direct you to them and others will be at the sites to greet you.

Last updated: November 4, 2016