Tampa Theatre welcomes local inauguration crowd

8:56 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- As hundreds huddled around the Capitol for the inauguration, a smaller, but equally enthusiastic, group filled the Tampa Theatre.

"I cannot put it into words. You're making me tear up. I'm so excited," Klarc O'Connor said of the historic event. O'Connor was visiting from out of town and said she would have no other way to watch the inauguration live if not for the Tampa Theatre's screening.

Many of the people who attended the free public screening had been in Washington, D.C. four years ago to attend President Barack Obama's first inauguration. This time around, they wanted something a little closer to home and a lot warmer, but still a special experience.

"Even though it's the second term, the energy might be a little bit different, but it's still nice to celebrate it with people who are as excited," said Kristina Palmer.

"In a way, it's not as exciting as four years ago because it's the second inauguration, but in a way it's more exciting because we and President Obama overcame a lot of lies and he now has a record to stand on," said Madeline Orio.

The loudest cheers from the crowd came during the president's speech, when he said, "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."

During his second term, spectators at the Tampa Theatre event said they hope to see more action taken when it comes to education, the economy, climate change, and shutting down Guantanamo Bay.

"The experience of even watching an inauguration for whoever is president is a special one," Palmer said, glancing at her 6-month-old daughter. "I'd like her to understand that it's special no matter who's in charge and leading our country."

Follow 10 News Reporter Ashley Porter on twitter @ashleyreporter

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