CHARLESTON, W.Va. - More than a few residents of the 35th state will be in attendance today as Barack Obama publicly takes his oath to remain the 44th president of the United States.
Sissonville High School art teacher Harold Edwards, 59, of Charleston, departed for Washington as soon as school ended on Friday.
Today also is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so school is canceled.
"I'm a history fan and I go to D.C. probably once a month now, I like President Obama and it's kind of historic," he said.
Edwards planned to meet up with a friend, a Washington-based food writer, to attend a party in Arlington, Va. on Saturday night. Dubbed "Obamarama," the event features dancing and rockabilly music. Edwards said he was going to wear a tuxedo jacket, red-white-and-blue sequined bowtie, black jeans and cowboy boots.
Today, he will trade his cowboy boots for running shoes.
"I've been reading online, the city's going to basically be closed down, you need to expect to walk 2 or 3 miles," he said.
The swearing-in ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. today, featuring music by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce.
The traditional inaugural parade begins shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Laiken Sheppard, 18, of Milton, and 45 other Marshall University students also will see history in action.
The university's campus activity board organized a bus trip for students, offering them a two-day trip, including transportation and lodging for only $50.