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Building the Inaugural Parade Floats

Hargrove Inc. has been building the inaugural floats since 1949.

It will take about 3,000 man hours to construct the eight floats in this year's inaugural parade. The second inauguration of President Barack Obama will be Jan. 21.

"We started with Truman 1949," Earl Hargrove Jr., founder of Hargrove Inc., said.  "That was the first one and we've been involved in every one since."  Hargrove is a trade show, special event and custom exhibit company based in Md.

"Each president gives us a theme," said Fred Strickland, executive director of production at Hargrove. 

The 2013 parade will include eight custom-designed floats commissioned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "Four floats will represent the First Family and Second Family’s home states, and four floats will honor the extraordinary progress we’ve made as a nation," the committee said in a press release.

One float will include a donated 2/3 scale replica of an authentic P51 Mustang, in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, Strickland said.

The eight floats are:

  • The Hawaii State Float – Hawaii is the birthplace of President Obama. The float features a large volcano modeled after the famous Diamond Head Volcano and a tribute to the late Senator Daniel Inouye.
  • The Illinois State Float – Illinois is the birthplace of First Lady Michelle Obama. The float features American flags, the state flag and a panorama of the Capitol.
  • The Pennsylvania State Float – Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Vice President Joe Biden. The float includes a replica of the Liberty Bell and the Pennsylvania State Seal.
  • The Delaware State Float – Delaware is the home state of Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. The float includes a replica of State Capitol Bell Tower.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Float – The float’s design features an image of Dr. King and a representation of his quote “out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
  • The Civil Rights Movements Float – The Civil Rights float features images representing historic struggles of many of the civil rights movements in our country. The images represented include Immigration, Women's, LGBT, Civil and Labor Rights. The float also includes Martin Luther King's quote “The Arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
  • The Tuskegee Airmen Float – The float is a tribute to the brave young men who were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. The float features a model North American P-51 Mustang.
  • The Inaugural Theme, “Our People. Our Future.” Float – The American people are the focus of this float. Riding on the float are the citizen co-chairs for the National Day of Service.

For more on the 57th Presidential Inauguration, visit Kingstowne Patch's Presidential Inauguration 2013 topic page.

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