Event offers up-close view of Inauguration

First Posted: 1/17/2009

Only a handful of area residents are lucky enough to have tickets for Tuesdays inauguration, but those left behind can still enjoy a close-up view of the historic event through the miracle of technology.
This will be accomplished with a big-screen television set that will be on hand at the L.H. Jones Auditorium on Jones School Road to broadcast the historic event.
I think they got the largest one available, local NAACP member Perry March said of fellow organizers and the giant-screen TV rented for the occasion.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, all citizens of Surry County are invited to stop by the auditorium on the former J.J. Jones School campus to view the activities in Washington. Admission will be free.
Along with the administering of the oath of office to the nations 44th president and its first black chief executive, the gathering will be highlighted by the traditional inaugural parade. All major news networks plan to air day-long coverage of the activities in Washington.
March and other organizers say Tuesdays local event is a chance to witness a piece of American history through the presence of the large-screen TV, which offers a good vantage point without having to leave the county.
Meanwhile, those who do attend in person will be braving massive traffic, crowds and security procedures.
In contrast, Tuesdays viewing at the local auditorium will be an informal, floating affair, with refreshments to be served throughout the day. Obama support memorabilia is welcomed.
In addition to the Surry County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, its sponsors include the J.J. Jones Alumni Association and the local VISIONS (Volunteers in Solidarity in Our Neighborhoods) group. March also said the Surry County Democratic Party is helping with the event designed to draw communitywide participation.
In keeping with that spirit, Leisure Tyme is renting out the TV set at a discounted price.
This is the time for everybody to come together, and I think were seeing that, March said of the unifying theme put forth by the incoming Obama administration.
The NAACP spokesman also thinks the opportunity to view the inauguration of the countrys first African-American president at the former Jones School which served the areas black students before integration is significant in itself.
It makes me think of all the sacrifices made at the local level at that place from an educational standpoint, and to be able to come back and witness this part of history there is wonderful, said March. He called the old campus hallowed ground.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected], or at 719-1924.

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