But like all big local events that will attract hundreds of thousands, the locals can either ignore it or embrace it. Those who are fleeing have rented up their places for thousands and are leaving town before the millions arrive.
Those who are opting to stay here have several options. Try to score one of the 225,000 tickets to get close up to see Obama's swearing in (lottery win, anyone?), try to score an entry into one of 10 exclusive inaugural ball (unlikely) or try for an unofficial one. Everyone probably will try to flood the Mall or parade route on January 20th.
I read that the Beijing Olympics took 320,000 volunteers to pull off that event. You saw them with those white gloves and coordinated waves. You saw them fill the stands in some of the venues that didn't quite sell out. Vancouver 2010 is looking for a more manageable 25,000.
For the inauguration, Barack Obama's bunch, infamous by now by going big in every arena they enter, are seeking a whopping 15,000 to 18,000. As of a few days ago, 60,000 applied and they pared it down to 27,000.