How San Diego Does an Inauguration

There's no doubt 2008 was a tough year for the average American.  Looking ahead to 2009, the new President will have a lot of work cut out for him. 

From San Diego to D.C. all eyes are on President-elect Barack Obama.  America will watch as history is made.  But how will we watch?  Here are just some of the ways:


It is a chance to be an eyewitness to history.

A large contingent of San Diegans will be in Washington D.C. for the Presidential inauguration.  They consider it an honor to be there and a once in a lifetime chance, not only to witness history, but also to be a part of it.

"This is something I'll be able to tell my kids, something I'll be able to remember forever. It's priceless," attendee Janell Lewis said.

"It's one event I can't miss and probably the highlight of my whole life. And so, I'd say, it really is a blessing," attendee Prince Sefa-Boakye said.

Lewis and Sefa-Boakye will be among the millions capturing, in person, an historic moment in U.S. history.

The Sefa-Boakye family from Coronado gets to be there after Prince - a sophomore at San Diego State - won a ticket lottery held by congresswoman Susan Davis.  For him, it's the chance to get caught up in a wave of hope and faith that he says has captured America’s youth.

"It's like wow. It’s a chance for America, especially the youth to be involved, because a lot of kids are not really involved in politics.  Then they see Barack Obama and they're into current events,” Sefa-Boakye said.

Lewis does not have a ticket to the inauguration, but she will be watching from the Washington mall.

"I almost feel like I have an obligation because its so historic and because it's the first black president of the United States and I know D.C. is going to be an exciting place this entire week,” she said.

"I can't really tell you the future, but what I can say right now is what I believe in. And the hope and the faith in which everybody believes, that he can do it,” Sefa-Boakye said.

Lewis and Sefa-Boakye said they know Barack Obama has plenty of challenges ahead of him.  But they feel he represents change and right now, he has a wave of support and enthusiasm behind him.


Concentrating in class is more difficult than usual for nearly two dozen eighth graders in Oceanside.

The eighth grade class at St. Mary's By The Sea is just days away from witnessing the historic swearing in of President Barack Obama.

Nick Winicki can't wait.

"When my kids are looking through history books , and they get to the part where the first man of color was elected president, I can tell them I was there, " said Winicki during Social Studies class.

The students' teacher, Rose Navarro Anderson, organized the trip through Worldstrides, an educational tour company.  The trip to the nation's capitol is an annual event for the eighth graders, but this year instead of learning about American history, they will be a part of it.

" I want them to appreciate who they are as Americans, to be proud of who their president  is, to be good citizens and to know they can grow up to be whatever they want, " explained Navarro-Anderson.

Students at the private Catholic school raised money through bake sales to help pay for their trip. They leave Saturday morning.

" We were all so excited we were all kind of screaming and just overjoyed that we were going to be part of this great moment in history, " said 14-year-old  Josie Hanson.

Most say this will also be their first trip to our nation's capitol. INAUGURATION GETS A MINI MAKEOVER AT LEGOLAND

No need to weather the bone-chilling weather of our nation's capitol, visitors to Legoland California in Carlsbad can witness the historic inauguration of Barack Obama starting Friday.

Master model designers recreate the scene depicting Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden as mini-figures of Lego brick on the steps of the Capitol in Miniland USA, and hundreds of Legoland mini-figures have been "invited" to witness the ceremony. 

Among the four-inch-tall mini Lego guests: President George Bush, Oprah, Aretha Franklin, California Senator Dianne Feinstein. 

More than 1000 mini-figures created out of thousands of Lego bricks were used to create the one-of-a-kind scene.


There are a number of celebrations planned around town for Tuesday’s Inauguration and in National City, the owner of a bakery is offering a unique way for San Diegans to honor President-elect Barack Obama.

Wilma Ventura, owner of "The Original Richard's Bakery" has reinvented traditional Filipino bread and named it "Obama Pan de Sal" in honor of the nation's next president.

Pandesal is the most popular bread in the Philippines, usually baked as a roll and can be eaten stuffed with chicken or sweet peas.

Filipino native and baker, Wilma Ventura said she did this to celebrate the first African-American President of the United States, and to honor our own diversity.

“Obama Pan de Sal -- we used under his name because it’s a healthy bread and we used 100% whole wheat flour,” said Ventura.

The dinner size rolls are sold, 15 pieces for just under three bucks.

When people asked her why Obama? She has a quick answer “This is our 44th President and the first African-American president. Also, for example, anyone who is Filipino, Mexican, that is a different color, or different skin… it’s a part of history,” she said.

On January 20, Ventura plans to witness history right in her bakery by hosting a celebration for her customers and friends at 9 a.m.

The Original Richard's Bakery.
3400 East H Street
Suite 114
National City

How are you planning on recognizing the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama? We're interested in your story. Please send us an email and let us know if you're traveling for the Inauguration or planning something special here in San Diego. Write to

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