WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama will kick off his inaugural celebration on Jan. 17 - the weekend before his swearing in as the country's 44th president - by traveling on a train to the nation's capital.
He and his family will start their daylong journey with an event in Philadelphia before boarding the train and picking up Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his family in Wilmington, Del. The president-elect and his group then will make a stop in Baltimore before making their way to Washington.
Obama will take office Jan. 20.
"We hope to include as many Americans as possible who wish to participate, but can't be in Washington," Emmett Beliveau, the executive director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement. "These events will allow us to do that while honoring the rich history and tradition of previous inaugural journeys."
Aides said Philadelphia and Baltimore were chosen because of the roles they played at pivotal moments in U.S. history and because they fit in with the inauguration's theme, "Renewing America's Promise."
The committee has said the theme was chosen to underscore Obama's "commitment to restoring opportunity and possibility for all and re-establishing America's standing as a beacon of hope around the world."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)