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Date of Issue: January 14, 2009

Island groups plan inaugural events

The Anna Maria Island Democratic Club will celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama with a party at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N. Bradenton Beach.

The club will make sure a big-screen television is on the premises for watching Obama’s address.

Partygoers will dine on a lunch buffet for $15.

For reservations or more information, call Francine Slack at 941-778-3444, or Dale de Haan at 941-778-9287.

Also, at noon Jan. 23, the St. Bernard Catholic Church CCW will host the Inauguration Fashion Show in the church fellowship hall, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.

For more information, call Kathleen Uttendorfer at 941-795-8361.

The official theme of Obama’s inauguration is “Renewing America’s Promise.”

In a press statement, the president-elect said, “At this moment of great challenge and great change, renewing the promise of America begins with renewing the idea that in America, we rise or fall as one nation and one people. That sense of unity and shared purpose is what this Inauguration will reflect.“

In Washington, D.C., inaugural festivities are scheduled to begin on Jan. 18 with a welcome event, continue on Jan. 19 with a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and on Jan. 20 with the swearing-in ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol, the 56th Inaugural Parade and a series of inaugural balls. The events will conclude on Jan. 21 with the newly inaugurated president and vice president joining in a prayer service.

Several local law enforcement officials are scheduled to travel to Washington to help with security during the inauguration, including Mike Leonard and Stan House of the Holmes Beach Police Department and Bradenton Beach resident Ed Straight, a reserve officer with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. More than 2 million people are expected to gather in the capital for the inauguration.

For those who plan to watch the historic events on television, many networks and cable channels already have committed to comprehensive coverage, including programming geared toward children on Nickelodeon.