It was Inauguration Day in 2005, and my job was feeding the huge parade floats into the main line of marching in the big parade. This was the second of three presidential inaugurals I would work on during my time with the Hargrove Company, the Washington-area firm that has had a major role in every inauguration since Harry Truman’s in 1948. Hargrove produced the décor for the inaugural balls, created parade floats, and handled countless special events surrounding the inaugurations.
The 2005 inauguration was the first after 9/11 and security was even tighter than usual. Despite the security requirements, the short turnaround for the entire project, and the 24-hour days, the three presidential inaugurations remain personal milestones.
The inauguration is also a massive undertaking that involves many military and civilian federal workers. While preparations can certainly be an inconvenience to anyone attempting to get around Washington, the ceremony is more than a milestone event in our history.
An inauguration is the transfer of power that defines our democracy and has, for centuries, differentiated us from many other countries in the world.
The Woodrow Wilson House in Washington has an interesting exhibit through Feb. 26 that explores the presidential campaigns of 1916 and 2016. You can decide which was more contentious and challenging to the country.
Turning a calendar page
The turn of the calendar reminds me that I’m in my 10th year of editing Recreation News. A decade seems like a convenient milestone to take stock, as well as to look ahead.
Over the past 10 years, travelers turned increasingly to the Internet to help plan everything from home improvements to vacations. Recreation News responded with a website that includes responsive design, making it easier to enjoy content on phones, tablets, and personal computers. The website includes our digital edition, which is downloaded about 40,000 times each month, as well as themed content from current and past issues and exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else.
We’ve expanded our print and online content to include the farthest reaches of the Mid-Atlantic region and retained our popular cruise coverage. We now feature regular sections on North Carolina, another popular destination for our readers.
Our columnists provide ideas for family travel and enjoying wine and food, and keep you up to date with the cultural scene and regional music festivals.
Interestingly, the pendulum seems to be swinging back as studies show that travelers are increasingly using printed materials again as they travel.
As Recreation News enters its 35th year of publication, we remain the largest travel newspaper in the Mid-Atlantic. That’s a laudatory achievement, but also a tremendous responsibility to find the best travel opportunities for you, to tell stories that give you ideas, and to pique your interest about ways to use your leisure time — one of the most precious commodities you have. Enjoy the content in 2017, but most of all, use it to enrich your life with travel experiences that will last a lifetime.
As you turn your own calendar page, we hope you’ll continue to enjoy Recreation News and we wish you a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!
Coming next month:
Howard County Brew Trail
James Monroe Bicentennial
Harriet Tubman visitor center opens