Thousands Arrive in Washington for Obamas Inaugural Festivities

(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh) - The official inaugural festivities begin on Saturday with the National Day of Service, followed by a children's concert.

And as thousands of people arrive in Washington for President Obama's second inauguration, organizers are rushing to finish the details.

Thousands of people will be coming to visit the memorials, and when they do, they'll notice a large addition to the national mall: a tent constructed just a couple of blocks away, dedicated to educating passersby about community service, at the president's request.

The crowds have arrived, packed for a party.

"This is one of my bucket list experiences,” said Tiffany Grimes of Atlanta, Ga.

Grimes flew in from Atlanta, and her first stop was the national mall, where crews inside a tent laid out the final tables for Saturday’s service fair.

Amelia Sellers is attending from New Orleans.

"We want to give back,” she said.

Like four years ago, President Obama has asked people nationwide to join his family and celebrate by serving.

"Over 200,000 people sign up nationwide for events,” said inaugural committee member Steve Kerrigan.

This year, the president's request is especially timely: It’s just the second time an inauguration has coincided with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

At the Rock Creek Conservancy, volunteers will be cutting back an invasive vine.

From one labor of love to the next, organizers inside the Washington Convention Center are setting the stage for Saturday’s children's concert.

"They will be putting the infrastructure on that up to the final minutes,” said Brent Colburn of the inaugural committee.

After the concert, crews will transform the space, setting the scene for the two official inaugural balls down from 10 in 2009.

Altogether, a handful of artists will perform throughout the weekend.

The security will be tight. Helicopters and jets will enforce a 30-mile no-fly zone as hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to DC to take part in history.

The president will be sworn in during a private ceremony on Sunday. The public ceremony and parade that follows will take place on Monday.

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