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US gears up for inauguration festivities

US gears up for inauguration festivitiesThis week the US is set to see history in motion as the swearing-in of the first black American president Barack Obama takes place tomorrow (20th January 2009).

Festivities for the change in presidency have already begun, with community events that will continue all week creating a buzz across the country.

Backpackers should book hostels in advance to ensure they have somewhere to sleep if planning to attend the many street parties and organized events including the 56th Inaugural Parade in Washington.

During the ceremony Aretha Franklin will perform, as will the United States Marine Band, the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

A free celebration took place yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and saw stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Mary J Blige entertain crowds in honor of the new president.

Democrat candidate Barack Obama beat Republican John McCain in November 2008 with 53 percent of the popular vote to become US president-elect.

In December 2008 Barack Obama was named by Time magazine as its Person of the Year.

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