Fireworks will herald start of the inauguration


WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 1977 (UPI) -- The inauguration of Jimmy Carter will start tonight with a green-and-white bang that will be heard for miles.

A five-day inaugural festival officially gets under way with a fireworks display-in the Carter-Walter Mondale colors of green and white-on the mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.


The opening salvo will be so loud it will be heard for 12 miles, organizers said.

The fireworks are just one aspect of Carter's "people's inaugural."

Carter has decided to walk to the last two blocks of the inaugural route along Pennsylvania Avenue so campaign workers and friends who paid $25 each for special seats can get a good look at him.

Also breaking tradition, he will walk from Blair House across the street to the White House Thursday morning for coffee with President Ford before the two-mile drive to the Capitol for the swearing-in.

While the fireworks mark the official start of inaugural week, the festivities opened earlier in the day with a dozen concerts, a film festival, poetry reading, children's theater and a horse show-all free.

Before the fireworks there will be live music on the mall. For the first 2,000 who get tickets and want to stay inside, the Atlanta Symphony and the National Symphony will present a joint concert-free in the Kennedy Center.


After the concert the Kennedy Center roof offers a ringside seat for the fireworks.

It's going to be a chilly week. The 1977 inaugural committee just hopes Carter won't be the first president since William Howard Taft in 1909 to be driven indoors by a blizzard.

Soldiers armed with everything from shovels to flame throwers are ready to attack any snow.

The National Weather Service's first inauguration day forecast made yesterday doesn't mention snow and predicts the temperature will climb to "near 20 degrees" by the Thursday noon swearing-in.

Unusual subfreezing temperatures have gripped the capital for two weeks, sending inauguration planners out to buy long underwear. The solar heating panels in the presidential parade reviewing stand outside the White House have been boosted by steam heat.

Carter will miss the opening events. He and his family are scheduled to arrive in Washington from Plains, Ga., later tomorrow afternoon. The first event it is known he will attend is the gala inauguration concert at the Kennedy Center tomorrow night.

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