Inaugural Parade Director Discusses Daunting Task

By Michael O'Connell January 7, 2009, 12:20 PM EST

Inaugural parade director and former Obama campaign staffer Peter Gage offered USA Today some insight into how his staff is handling the unprecedented scope of the event.

High atop the list of priorities is how to organize the 90 participating groups, 10,000 buses, and 13,000 marchers, and where to put the 300,000 onlookers and expected overflow crowd of 3 million who will be watching the festivities on jumbo screens on the National Mall. Security concerns force him to keep mum on many other details, including the walking route of the first family. Still, handling logistics is nothing compared to the pressure of trying to please the nation watching at home. “In a real sense, this is not our event,” he said. “It is the country's event, and you don't want to let the country down.”

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