Locals prepare for 'once in a lifetime' experience

Published: Jan. 14, 2017 at 10:02 PM CST
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Two KOTA Territory Republicans admit they are a little "giddy" about landing invitations to the presidential inauguration Friday.

"I felt like I was in high school and got invited to the prom. That's my exact feeling," Marguerite McPhillips, the Pennington County chair for the Republican Party said.

"I was making calls for the Trump campaign to Arizona and Colorado and Neal Tapio was the campaign manager, so, I worked under him. He called me one day and told me to give him my name and information. He took that info and presented it to get the big package. I had inauguration tickets just for the inauguration itself from Senator Rounds' office so this is extra special," McPhillips explained.

The extra's include the individual passes, plus attendance to the presidential ball, the parade and the concert at the National Mall.

"I bought a dress, but I like one that I already have a lot more." McPhillips said.

Described as feeling giddy, McPhillips and Sandye Kading, both members of the Republican Party, will make the trip to Washington for the public Presidential Inauguration Ceremony. It will be the first time either of them will attend a presidential inauguration.

"This is quite a privilege, not everyone gets to do this and if they do it's perhaps a once in a lifetime," Kading, national committeewoman for South Dakota said.

"I'm part of the Republican National Committee and the National Committee has their winter meetings at that time as well. We knew that we would be in Washington, It was just a matter of when and how the election turned out. So once the election was held in November and we went with a republican, Donald J. Trump, we knew that we would be in Washington for the inauguration," Kading said.

Some of the things both women are looking forward to seeing is the people and the support for the new president.

"I'm expecting to see hopefully a lot of excited people and hopefully not a lot of protesters," McPhillips said.

"There will be a lot of dignitaries that we will be able to see," Kading said, "We see them a lot of TV and in the media and it will be nice to see them in person."

The tickets for the ceremony are not easy ones to get. They can only be obtained through a member of Congress. In South Dakota that would be through Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds or Representative Kristi Noem.

"To get these would be by a request to your legislators," Kading said. "Or the Victory office or the RNC."

To get the bonus tickets, you have to know somebody the women said. Both will head to Sioux Falls on Tuesday to fly out to Washington.

The ceremony is Friday, Jan. 20. The term of a president commences at noon (eastern time) on that day, when the chief justice administers the oath to the president.

However, over the years, various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath taking ceremony to a day–long event, including parades, speeches, and balls.