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Big crowd, but not a record, seen for inauguration

Thursday - 1/3/2013, 6:14am  ET

AP: 67b7cbca-b764-4ce7-8ed8-4fc6c234d3b1
A painter touches up the presidential viewing stand in front of the White Hosue in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 as preparations continue for the Inauguration, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Don't expect President Barack Obama's second inauguration to match the record turnout from 2009. But District of Columbia officials still are planning for a massive crowd for a second chance to see a president's swearing in.

Officials have pieced together early data and they're projecting that 600,000 to 800,000 people will crowd onto the National Mall on Jan. 21. That's based on past attendance and data such as hotel and restaurant reservations and chartered bus permits.

The 2009 inauguration drew 1.8 million people.

Chris Geldart heads the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency and is co- chairman of the district's presidential inaugural committee. He's hearing that some people who were overwhelmed by the 2009 crowds see 2013 as a second chance to witness history.

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