Democrats rejoice for Obama’s big day
January 16, 2009
Democrats will be rejoicing on Tuesday.
Republicans will likely be watching Barack Obama’s historic swearing-in ceremony with more than a passing interest in the happenings in Washington, D.C.
What could be the most popular inauguration party in Park City is scheduled at the Sundance Film Festival zone on lower Main Street, where festival organizers plan to show the event on the big-screen television set up on the street. Sundance says the screen will start broadcasting at about 8:30 a.m. Obama will take the oath of office during a ceremony scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Mountain time.
"We want the vibe to be welcoming and celebratory," Sarah Pearce, a Sundance official who helped organize the lower Main Street zone, said in a statement released by the film festival.
The television will be tuned to the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City. Sundance expects to show the swearing-in and the speeches that are delivered in Washington. The festival wants Parkites and Sundance visitors to attend, and parents are encouraged to bring their kids.
That evening, meanwhile, a community inaugural celebration is planned inside the tent inside the Sundance zone, from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. It is free and the public is invited.
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Joanna Charnes, a high-ranking official in the Summit County Democratic Party, said it is "extremely important" to organize a celebration of Obama’s swearing-in.
"It’s festive. It’s a special time in history," Charnes said, expecting "euphoria" on Tuesday in Park City.
The local Democrats have planned a fund-raiser that night at The Sidecar, costing $50 per person or $40 for people holding tickets to a Slamdance Film Festival screening. People must be at least 21 years old. It starts at 7:30 p.m.
Republican will watch
The Summit County Republican Party agreed to cross party lines to help the swearing-in celebration in Park City.
David Ure, the chairman of the local GOP and a member of the Summit County Council, said party leaders decided to team with the Democrats to pay for the inaugural celebration inside the tent Tuesday evening.
Ure plans to watch the swearing-in at his house in Kamas and then be in Park City for the inaugural celebration. People on the East Side of Summit County are not "overly happy" with Obama’s Election Day victory, but people in the Park City area are "jubilant," Ure said.
"To be honest with you, he wasn’t my first choice," Ure said.
But Ure, who served in the state Legislature prior to campaigning for the Summit County panel, said he hopes Obama deftly handles the country’s economic problems and that national leaders wisely spend taxpayer money. He said he wants Obama to make sure federal investments assist regular Americans and that Washington holds the people accountable for the assistance.
"I can tell you this, I’m praying for him," Ure said.
Off to Washington
Park City Councilwoman Liza Simpson did not want to watch the swearing-in on television in Park City.
She preferred to be in the crowd in Washington.
Simpson is scheduled to leave for the nation’s capital on Monday and return on Thursday. She will attend the event with a group of family and friends that got the coveted tickets.
"We, as a country, elected an African-American as president. It’s pretty historic," Simpson said.
Simpson plans to stay with a cousin who lives in Washington.
Her ticket gets her a standing-room-only spot, and she is unsure where she will be positioned. Airfare to Washington is costing her about $400. Simpson hopes to visit the offices of Utah’s senators and Congressman Rob Bishop.
Simpson said she does not want Obama to "sugarcoat" the challenges the country faces during his inaugural speech and she wants him to talk about cooperation between people.
"I think we, as a country, have a lot of hard work ahead," she said, hoping Obama’s speech is "inspirational enough" to Americans.