If you go
What: Breakfast viewing of President-elect Barack Obama's Inauguration, hosted by the Routt County Democrats
When: 8 a.m. Tuesday (Obama is expected to take the oath of office at 10 a.m.)
Where: The Tap House, 729 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: $5.95 for breakfast (coffee and tea will be available)
Call: Lynn at 879-2767 for more information; RSVP to email@example.com
Steamboat Springs In the weeks leading up to Nov. 4, 2008, Yampa resident Karen Tussey met with other South Routt County volunteers about once a week to make phone calls, knock on doors and take surveys.
It was the first political campaign Tussey had been active in - and she is about to see that activism pay off. On Tuesday evening, she'll gather with other South Routt volunteers from President-elect Barack Obama's "Campaign for Change" to watch a taping of Obama's Inauguration ceremony.
"I'm thrilled. I'm so excited. It's quite a historic event, and it's pretty exciting that we were all involved in it," Tussey said Thursday, as she finished planning a small Inauguration celebration gathering.
At noon Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Barack Obama is scheduled to take the oath of office to become America's first black president.
The historic scope of the event hasn't been lost on the two million or so people who will descend on Washington, D.C., to witness it, and it hasn't been lost on Tussey and the dozens of South Routt volunteers who campaigned to help make it happen.
Using her home as an occasional headquarters to store campaign signs and hold volunteer meetings, Tussey said the face-to-face style of the Obama campaign gave her a chance to talk openly with people in her town.
"I went canvassing, and I got to speak to people all over Yampa, and some I knew, and some I got to meet and chat about their thoughts and their feelings and what was going on with the campaigning," Tussey said. "It was interesting, people were open. : Everybody was pretty happy and engaged."
Tussey said the Tuesday event will be the first time the South Routt volunteers have gathered since election season ended - the group didn't have a watch party for Election Day results because, Tussey said, "everyone was glued to the seats."
Resident to ride in parade
In Steamboat Springs, members of the Routt County Democrats will gather at 8 a.m. at The Tap House for breakfast and to watch Obama's swearing-in. Catherine Carson, chairwoman of the Routt County Democratic Party, said the event is a chance for those who were active in the grass-roots efforts of the local "Campaign for Change" to get together.
"I think obviously being there (in Washington, D.C.) would be fabulous, but being here would be fabulous, too, because in Routt County, we all worked to take care of our corner of the world, confident that everyone else would take care of their corner of the world," Carson said.
The watch-party will be a chance to see part-time Routt County resident Elaine Hurd on TV - Hurd will ride in Tuesday's Inaugural Parade on the "Spirit of the Lincoln Highway" vintage fire truck. Hurd has family ties to the Lincoln Highway, and the truck belongs to a museum dedicated to the cross-country roadway.
She'll ride in the Inaugural Parade - which is expected to start around 12:30 p.m., after Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden are sworn in - as a chaperone for her cousin's son, 12-year-old California resident Ryan Grau. Ryan uncovered his family's link to the Lincoln Highway in an Internet search.
"It's exciting to me to be able to go to an historical event. But I'm in my 50s; I've seen a lot of historical things," Hurd said, explaining her excitement for Ryan to be able to participate in the parade.
"To me, it's a family thing, and it's for this 12-year-old," she said.
Being there 'in spirit'
Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, will be in Washington, D.C., for a week of Inauguration events. Coming away from an election season that included the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Waak said the attention drawn to the West during the election and Colorado swinging for Obama was significant.
"I think that President-elect Obama made it a policy to reach out to every single voter was really significant," Waak said in a phone interview Thursday. "It was really historic for us. It reached out to people who normally don't get reached out to in Colorado and made them feel like they were part of this movement that was going on."
The Colorado Inaugural Ball set for Monday night in Washington, D.C., is full, a testament to the Colorado Democratic Party's involvement in the 2008 election, Waak said, explaining her anticipation for Inauguration Day.
"I know that all the citizens of Colorado are going to be there in spirit, if not in body," she said.
Among those who will be there in spirit is Dylan Roberts, a Lowell Whiteman School graduate who took fall 2008 off from school to lead the "Campaign for Change" office in Steamboat Springs. Roberts was in New Hampshire late last week training with his college ski team. He said he plans to watch the Inauguration ceremonies back at school at Boston College.
"I think the moment when he gets sworn in : it's the end of the road that we were pushing for in the beginning, of him actually governing," Roberts said.
"So it'll be really cool to see that actual moment when he becomes president."