Gay band to march in Presidential inauguration parade
For the first time in American history, a gay group has been asked to march in the Inaugural Parade.
President-elect Obama will take the oath of office on January 20th during an elaborate day of celebrations in Washington DC.
The parade will include the Lesbian and Gay Band Association as a marching contingent.
During his inauguration parades President Clinton allowed the LGBA to perform on the street but not march.
The LGBA is comprised of concert and marching bands from cities across America and the world.
Formed in 1982 as Lesbian and Gay Bands of America when seven independent lesbian and gay bands met formally in Chicago, LGBA has grown to 26 bands.
“We are extremely pleased to announce that the Lesbian and Gay Band Association will be included as a marching contingent in the Inaugural Parade,” the group said on its website.
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“This is the first time that an LGBT group will be represented in a Presidential Inaugural Parade, truly our chance to make history.”
Around 100 marching bands, some of them high school bands, will take part in the parade.
The tradition of an Inaugural parade dates back to the very first Inauguration, when George Washington took the oath of office on April 30th 1789, in New York City.
As he began his journey from Mount Vernon to New York City, local militias joined his procession as it passed through towns along the way.
The 2009 event will include a procession of floats, voluntary groups and military regiments.
The inauguration parade is one of the best-attended events in the US, with a million people expected on the streets.