How to Stay Warm at the Inauguration Ceremony
It will be warmer on Inauguration Day 2013 than it was in 2009, but it's still January in Virginia. Here are some tips on staying warm when you're outside for hours.
People watching the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama live from the Washington Mall will likely see temperatures somewhere between 28 degrees and 43 degrees, if the past few presidential inauguration weather patterns are any indication.
According to the National Weather Service, those are the average high and low temps for a January Inauguration Day.
Early weather forecasts indicate temperatures could be in the upper 30s under partly cloudy skies for the 2013 presidential inauguration.
That's warmer than four years ago, when temperatures reached just 28 degrees for the 2009 inauguration. Of course, that's nothing compared to Ronald Reagan's second inauguration, when the high temperature was just 7 degrees. The windchill made the air feel much colder.
Hand warmers were a coveted item that day.
Hudson Trail Outfitters, with stores in Pentagon City, Fairfax and Tenley Circle, expects to see plenty of people stopping by to stock up on supplies to keep warm for the inauguration in the event the forecast takes a turn for the colder, according to John Holcomb, director of store operations.
“A lot of people come into town as you get closer to the event. People run out of hand warmers, overcoats, hats,” Holcomb said.
So what are some tips for staying warm while waiting for the ceremonies to begin? (See our photo gallery to the right for suggested items!)
Holcomb said one of the most important factors in staying warm is proper layering. You’ve probably heard this before—but it’s because it’s good advice, Holcomb said.
“Layering traps heat and enables you to shed layers as you warm up,” Holcomb said, adding that the Metro ride back from the festivities is sure to be warm, especially compared to the outdoor temperature.
Holcomb also said that the base layer worn should be made of a synthetic material instead of cotton, because cotton tends to make you sweat.
“It’s like wearing a wet towel,” Holcomb said.
Layers are also important for the hands and feet. Hand and toe warmers work anywhere from six to eight hours, Holcomb said.
“They are great for making friends during the inauguration,” Holcomb added. “If you offer a pair of hand warmers to the person next to you, you have an instant friend for inauguration.”
A fabric or “space blanket” can also be a help. A space blanket is made to radiate heat back to you, and are most effective for helping block out the wind, Holcomb said.
“A stadium blanket is good for a group of kids,” Holcomb said. “Maybe it will help them stay warm in that little area.”
Holcomb also said it’s important to shop a few days before tourists start coming into town.
“If you are planning to go, shop sooner rather then later,” Holcomb said.
Also, keep in mind that all people attending the inauguration parade have to pass security screenings. The Secret Service issued a list of prohibited items along the parade route, which includes backpacks, coolers, glass or thermal containers.
Portable chairs are prohibited on the U.S. Capitol grounds for ticketed viewing areas. There are also size restrictions on bags. You can view the full list on the Secret Service website.
For a complete guide to the inauguration, including transportation, tickets, balls and other need-to-know info, check out our Patch 2013 presidential inauguration special section here.