WASHINGTON -- Now that we know that President Obama will be returning to the White House to start a second term on Jan. 21, 2013, Inauguration Day planning is now in full force.
Hotels are being booked -- or already have been booked, as is the case for the Ritz Carlton in the West End, for instance, among other top hotels in the area.
Since the Jan. 20 Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday in 2013, the observed celebration will happen on Monday, Jan. 21. In addition to the swearing-in ceremony, inaugural address, parade and 11 official balls, there will be no shortage of unofficial balls, parties and more.
According to the official Inauguration site, run by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the 2009 ceremonies drew the largest attendance of any event in the history in the nation's capital.
For more information about past ceremonies and the upcoming inauguration, visit the official website or the official Inaugural Ceremonies Facebook page.
Tickets for the inaugural swearing-in ceremonies will be distributed in January by senators and representatives that were elected -- or reelected -- this week. Congressional offices have been setting up processes to distribute tickets to their constituents.
Some guidelines, for instance, from the office of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.):
- Demand for Inaugural tickets far exceeds the number available, therefore my office will be conducting a lottery in late December to distribute the tickets alloted to my office. There is a limit of one request per household address.
- As a Senator for Colorado, my office is only able to distribute tickets to state residents. You must be a current Colorado resident to receive Inaugural tickets from my office.
- Please do not make your travel plans contingent on receiving tickets. My office will do its best to notify you in a timely manner if you have received tickets in the lottery.
- Tickets will most likely be for standing room only areas. Due to crowds, security procedures and the length of the ceremonies, ticket holders should expect to be standing outside in winter weather for several hours.
- All children old enough to walk must have their own ticket. Strollers are not allowed in any ticketed areas. Event organizers discourage bringing young children to the Inaugural ceremonies due to weather conditions, the length of time you will spend standing and limited access to restroom and dining facilities.
- There are many ways to participate in the Inaugural festivities that do not a require ticket. While a ticket may place you physically closer to the swearing-in itself, the majority of people will view the Inaugural ceremonies from the National Mall where tickets are not required.
The construction of the 2013 inaugural platform on the Capitol's West Front began on Oct. 30. View the start of the construction here.
Following the presidential inauguration ceremony at the Capitol will be the traditional parade on Pennsylvania Avenue which will end at the White House, where an official reviewing stand is also under construction.
Organized by the Joint Task Force-Military District of Washington, participants are selected by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Marching bands, marching units, mounted units and other performers are collected by the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee and are currently accepting applications to perform. Tickets are not needed for the parade.
Click through the slideshow for photos of past presidential inaugurations.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1905
The Capitol during the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.
Ronald Reagan, 1981
Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Reagan wave to the public from the presidential car during the January 20, 1981, Inauguration Day parade.
James K. Polk, 1845
This wood engraving depicts the crowd with umbrellas in front of platform on east portico of the Capitol, where Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administers the oath of office to James K. Polk.
Ulysses S. Grant, 1873
This wood engraving shows Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase holding Bible with hand raised, and Ulysses S. Grant with hand on Bible, surrounded by crowd of men.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1940
President Franklin Roosevelt began his eighth year in the White House on March 4, 1940. The president attended services at St. John's Episcopal Church before the ceremony. Congressional leaders, cabinet members and others joined the president at prayer services, including Secretary of War Harry Woodring and Mrs. Woodring, pictured here, as they attended enter the church.
Jimmy Carter, 1977
A peanut-shaped float passes by presidential reviewing stand for the inauguration of Jimmy Carter on Jan. 20, 1977.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1905
President Theodore Roosevelt in his carriage on the way to the White House from the Capitol.
Abraham Lincoln, 1861
The inauguration of Abraham Lincoln at the Capitol on March 4, 1861.
William McKinley, 1901
This photos shows the crowd standing in front of the Capitol with William McKinley standing on the podium in the middle.
George H. W. Bush, 1989
Soldiers march in the parade that followed the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush on Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20, 1989.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1945
Dr. Wei Tao-Ming, of China, and other guests at the ceremony of the fourth inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the South Portico of the White House.
William Howard Taft, 1909
Photographers at President Taft's inauguration, March 4, 1909, above a snow-covered wall.
James Buchanan, 1857
A wood engraving from Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper depicts the inauguration process for James Buchanan in 1857.
John F. Kennedy, 1961
This photograph depicts the presidential reviewing stand as the Mummers band passes during John F. Kennedy's inauguration.
Jimmy Carter, 1977
President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter dancing at an inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 1977.
George W. Bush, 2005
US Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Scott shakes hands with one of the hundreds of Navy sailors who helped line the street cordon down Pennsylvania Avenue for the Inauguration day parade,
Richard Nixon, 1969
Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon arrive at an inaugural ball in 1969.
Harry Truman, 1949
This photo shows the inauguration podium at the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony of Harry Truman on Jan. 20, 1949.
George W. Bush, 2001
Fireworks explode over the White House on the eve of George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001.
Ronald Reagan, 1981
The inaugural procession travels toward the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue near 11th Street NW on Jan. 20, 1981.