So you want to attend a rally in DC

Here’s some tips I learned, or at least things I was able to confirm first-hand, about rallies yesterday while I was in DC doing my part to restore sanity:

  • It’s impossible to arrive too early. I got to The Mall about two and a half hours before the scheduled start time and wandered directly as far to the front as I reasonably could. Although I could see the stage, I couldn’t really see anything going on on it. Good thing there were giant monitors and some pretty good camera-work.
  • Conversely, don’t think you’re going to be able to leave when it’s over. The Metro stations within walking distance were so full afterwards people were crowded outside, not even able to get onto the escalators at the entrances. I went ahead and visited the Jefferson Memorial and FDR Memorial out by the Tidal Basin where the crowds were much sparser. Two hours later, when I started my return trip, congestion on the Metro had dropped down to peak rush hour levels.
  • Use sunscreen. It doesn’t matter if it’s late October. If you’re standing outside for hours on end, you’ll get at least a minor sunburn.
  • Speaking of which, be prepared to stand for several hours.
  • Be careful with water consumption. Too little, and you’ll get dehydrated. Too much, and you’ll have to head to the restrooms, losing the spot you got there early for.
  • Take a camera, or you’ll be stuck wading through other people’s photo galleries to try to find that one awesome sign you saw.

One Response

  1. I forgot an important one:

    Make sure you have enough money on your SmarTrip card in the days before the rally. The lines for the fare machines at Greenbelt Station were out the door.

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