Area residents have an opportunity to attend the historic presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Jan. 21, at a discount rate with other Montanans.
Havre High School teacher John Ita is leading a group to the swearing-in ceremonies. About 20 people have already signed up, he said, but there is room for five more.
The plane will leave Great Falls Airport Saturday, Jan. 19, he said, and will return Jan. 23.
He said attending the ceremonies is a real treat.
Reservations have to be in by Nov. 2, he said. That means people signing up will not know who is going to win the election.
But the ceremonies transcend politics, he said.
It is a historic day that people will remember for the rest of their lives, he said.
"So far, the interest has been tremendous," he said. Many students, some parents and other adults have signed up, he said.
Last year, the day after Barack Obama was elected, he received about 30 calls from people who wanted to attend, but it was too late.
The trip will include guided tours of Washington attractions such as the Capitol, Arlington Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum, Ita said.
Ita said he is working with Montana representatives to get special tickets for the group. Last time, the group was about 100 yards away from the stage.
He said elderly people were standing out in the 20-degree weather for a long time so they could see the historic swearing in, he said.
One young man was wearing a fedora and other clothes that appeared to date back to the 1960s, Ita recalled. When Ita questioned him about his attire, the man explained that his late father had worn the clothes to the 1963 March on Washington, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech.
The man said he wanted to have some of his father with him when he saw the Obama inauguration.
Ita said anyone interested in tickets for the 2013 swearing-in ceremonies can call him at Havre High School at 265-6731.