Excitement building locally for inauguration

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Barack Obama is in Washington. Plans are falling into place.

As the countdown to the inauguration continues, excitement for that historic event continues to build from the nation's capital to Savannah and beyond.

"A week from Tuesday, that's all I've been saying,'' said Davita Capers-White, who is organizing Celebrate Together in Savannah, an event on the night of the inauguration to mark the momentous day. "A week from Tuesday and it's all going to be recorded, everyone's vision.''

For many African-Americans, the inauguration of America's first black president one week from today will not only represent a transfer of power but also a sense of empowerment.

"The excitement is everywhere,'' says Capers-White. "It's changed people's talk. People have gotten familiar with political terms. They want to be involved with civil rights, want to be involved in political aspects of their own city.''

And many also want to feel involved with the inauguration. Some are determined to go to the event.

"As soon as the election was over, we were contacted by several groups,'' said Chip Torgerson of Kelly Tours in Savannah. "We just started putting the plans together and more people called wanting to go up there and we ended up with 10 buses and having to go elsewhere and get more buses.''

Others like Capers-White, will attempt to bring the mood of the day here.

Her event at the Civil Rights Museum will give people a chance to feel a part of the inauguration without ever leaving Savannah. And while surrounded by people who share their excitement about the new president.

"Of course, the room will definitely be disguised in red, white and blue of our American flag because it is an American party. And that's the way I feel in my heart,'' said Capers-White. "We pushed the election, we pushed the voting, we got people out. So, I said why not celebrate with those here in Savannah who made those extra efforts to get him into office.''

But, wherever they celebrate it, people will likely remember this inauguration day as much as they have looked forward to it.

The Celebrating Together in Savannah event is Tuesday, January 20 from 7pm to midnight at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum located at 460 Martin Luther King Blvd. The event costs $25 per person.