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Thousands Turn Out for Inauguration Event at L.A. Live

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, at 08:09AM
Early Crowd at L.A. Live Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A crowd gathers for the Inauguration event at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles.

An estimated 1,500 - 2,000 turned out to L.A. Live's Nokia Plaza this morning to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Celebrants started to assemble as early as 4:30am, with the crowd swelling as the swearing-in grew closer.

The giant screen on the plaza showed a special feed assembled from CNN coverage and the events taking place on site at L.A. Live. Councilmembers Jan Perry, Jose Huizar and Tom LaBonge joined AEG CEO Tim Lieweke in welcoming the crowd and special guests.

The mood on the plaza was clearly one of celebration. The crowd waved flags and cheered every time the incoming President appeared on-screen. Smaller screens on towers along the plaza alternated between feed shots and images of the local audience.

Chick Hearn Court was closed off for the event, connecting Staples Center and the L.A. Live complex into a single public space. The crowd flowed across the street and into the Staples courtyard as the swearing-in grew close.

Media outlets were out in force, with KTLA anchoring live coverage from the plaza. Trucks were also on-hand for ABC, NBC, CBS and several Spanish-language outlets.

AEG, developer of the L.A. Live complex, has long spoken of Nokia Plaza as a space for public functions.

Our first version of this story, published at 8:09am, contained this text:

By 7:30am, several hundred celebrants were gathered on L.A. Live's Nokia Plaza, watching a special feed of Presidential Inauguration events from Washington D.C.. Many had gotten to the plaza as early at 4:30am in hopes of securing a prime viewing spot. The final crowd should be much larger, as a steady flow of new arrivals have been making their way into the complex all morning.

Councilwoman Jan Perry kicked things off, welcoming the crowd to a historic day before introducing a stream of special guests.

Events on the plaza will run into the afternoon, with on-site entertainment and a live broadcast of the parade from Washington.


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