HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's inauguration weekend in Washington, DC and that means the parties and the preparation are well underway for President Barack Obama's second term. It really is one of the most exciting times to be in our Nation's Capitol, and Hawaii will be well represented.
14 year old trumpet player, Mikayla Ah Sam, knows what an honor it will be to play for the President.
"I'm crazy excited. I just feel so blessed that we get to go on this trip. It's just amazing," says the freshman.
Mikayla and 95 fellow Kamehameha students are bound for Washington tonight. They'll be marching the two-mile route in Monday's inauguration parade.
Kamehameha Schools' Assistant Marching Band Director, Alika Young, says, "Our students will be performing a composition by our alii, our very own Queen Liliuokalani. They'll be performing Aloha Oe, as well as Kamehameha March".
The Punahou band is marching, too, and arrived in the Nation's Capitol Thursday. It's the second time the President's alma mater has been invited to participate. The students rehearsed in 40 degree weather for two hours this morning, then toured the Capitol, and met with Hawaii's congressional delegation.
"They're seeing politics and government, firsthand," says Mark Falzarano, Punahou School's Marching Band Director. "And it's this realness that, oh, we're doing this! We're part of this great adventure of government!"
No swearing-in would be complete without inauguration balls. The Hawaii State Society is flying in flowers from the islands to DC and hired a chef familiar with Hawaiian food. The guest list includes Hawaii's congressional delegation and State Society members. They've sold-out all 450 tickets for Sunday's event.
The Hawaii State Society's Suzanne McMenamin says, "That's smaller than the last one, but then, this whole inauguration is smaller. So that's kind of right in line with all the other festivities."
Officials have already held a full dress rehearsal for the oath of office - complete with Obama stand-ins!
Hawaii News Now will have live network coverage of Monday's inauguration on KGMB from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and on KHNL from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Because of that, there will be no "Sunrise" on Monday morning.