People from all over the country and the world are descending on Washington, D.C. for the occasion, including many residents from the Chicago area. It is expect to be a show of patriotism the likes of which has never been seen in America.
"This inaugural event in Washington is something beyond my wildest dreams," said Bishop Arthur Brazier of Chicago.
Brazier's journey to Washington for a moment in history has lasted 87 years. The Pentecostal bishop and World War II veteran who endured racial discrimination for decades says the inauguration is proof to the world that America's ideas about race have changed.
" All of us who said at one time that we loved America but couldn't be proud of America can say now not only that we love America but that we are proud of America," said Brazier.
Everywhere ABC7 went, early arrivers talked about their renewed sense of patriotism.
"It's such a nice time for everybody to come together and feel a sense of pride for our country and make a change that, hopefully, will impact us all in a good way," said Karrin Musich of Palatine.
With hotel rooms in the Washington area booked months in advance for hundreds of dollars each night, some early arrivers obviously could afford to pay what appeared to be inflated prices for inauguration activities.
"Even though we want to go places, everywhere we go, we're going to have to walk," said Dominique Nettles of the Chicago area.
Nettles, now a senior at Howard University in Washington, says they'll get as close to the activities as a limited budget will take her.
"With me being here now at Howard about to graduate and being here at this time when Obama is about to come into office is just wonderful," she said.
She and her housemates were hoping to attend the free concert at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday.