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Celebrate with friends at local inauguration parties
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Inauguration Day parties

During the day

Hall County Library, main branch
Where: 127 Main St. NW, Gainesville
When: Noon-1 p.m. Tuesday

Piedmont College
Where: Swanson Center, on campus
When: Starting at noon and continues throughout the day

In the evening

Daily News Diner
Where: 118 Bradford St. NW, Gainesville
When: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday

St. Paul United Methodist Church
Where: 705 Summit St. SE, Gainesville
When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday

Do you know of an Inauguration Day party? E-mail Kristen Morales at kmorales@gainesvilletimes.com for inclusion in the list online and in Sunday's edition of The Times.

When President-elect Barack Obama raises his right hand around noon on Tuesday, Hall County and Northeast Georgia residents can watch alongside friends at numerous Inauguration Day events.

And, if you can't make it out of the office for your lunch hour, you can join the party Tuesday evening at a few local places, too.

Festivities on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., get under way at 10 a.m., and the main branch of the Hall County Library is opening up a special room from noon to 1 p.m. for locals to drop by, have their lunch and watch the presidential swearing-in.

"We have a meeting room with a TV set up ... so that people can come in and watch it," said Marion Hunter, who is in charge of adult services and programming and events for the library. "We just felt it would be a good thing to do to offer it to anyone who wanted to watch it."

It's a chance for workers in the downtown Gainesville area - or anyone looking to share the inauguration - to meet, eat and watch the event.

"Some people will be on their lunch hour, so it will be perfectly fine with us if they want to bring their lunches and watch some of it during their lunch hour," Hunter said. "If they're in the area and can't get to a television, they can come in and we'll have one available."

Students and residents near Demorest also will have a place to watch the inauguration, since the student center will have a television set up all day, according to Pam Stow, administrative assistant in the student affairs office.

"It's during the day, but a lot of the kids will be in class. But whoever isn't will hopefully have a chance to see a viewing of this historic moment," Stow said. "We probably will even have the inaugural parade on, so it will probably be set up all day just for festivities."

On Tuesday evening, the parties continue for anyone who might have missed the swearing-in at noon.

In downtown Gainesville, the Daily News Diner will host a party for the local democratic party - and anyone else who wants to join in - from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. While the restaurant will have the inauguration live on their two TVs, owner Marquest Higgins said he was happy to open his business up for an evening event, too.

"It will be the place to be for a number of reasons - the atmosphere is wonderful, the service is wonderful, the food is good," he said. "So I just want as many people as possible to come to my place and celebrate this historic event."

Higgins said he and chef Natalie are offering food specials for the inauguration, too. In honor of Obama being sworn in as the 44th president, all specials for Tuesday will be $4.44.

And not too far away, another evening inauguration party will be taking place at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Summit Street.

Angela Middleton, who is co-chairwoman of the inauguration party event with Louvina Richardson, said the church will have a TV set up and will have the presidential oath playing on repeat for anyone who had to work through their lunch hour.

"Everyone who comes by will be given free chili and a side," she said. "It's kind of like an outreach ministry that's putting it on. We were motivated by the president-elect's commission of service."

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