Plans for Inauguration Day celebrations clash with equality marches after a divisive election that left some hopeful and some fearful. Some, like Ron Winter, will be celebrating the day with family as they look to a hopeful future as the new president is sworn in.
Winter, who lives in Elizabethton, said he will be meeting some of his family in Dublin, Virginia, for a celebratory dinner. He said celebrating Inauguration Day is not typical for his family, but felt that this time was an exception.
“I think his whole agenda is on the right road,” he said of Trump. Winter said he believes the change in leadership will bring back liberty and justice throughout the nation. “I think it'll be a welcome change.”
Kay White, East Tennessee chairwoman for the Trump campaign, said most Trump supporters she knows will be taking the day to celebrate at home. Winter said he thinks that Inauguration Day is difficult to celebrate all day for some people, so many choose to watch what they can at home through news stations.
“The thing is it's a relatively long day and sometimes you can see more from the media than you can if you're actually there,” he said.
Some aren’t as optimistic about the upcoming inauguration of the president-elect, though.
Two buses leaving for Washington this weekend will carry dozens of marchers to the Women’s March on Washington on Jan 21, and more are expected to follow in their personal vehicles. A representative for the East Tennessee chapter of the march, who did not wish to be identified, said the group is not marching in protest of Trump, but marching in favor of preserving and expanding the hard-fought reproductive rights for women, the rights for LGBTQ+ people and preserving the rights of people of all religions, ethnicities and nationalities.
“We are arguing for our nation's continued history of increasing liberty, freedom and justice for all,” the representative said. “We believe that liberty should be expanded, not contracted — we are advocating for the continuation of that value.”
The buses leaving or stopping in Johnson City are full, the representative said, but at least 100 others are planning to ride separately to the march. And for those who can’t spare the day to trek to D.C., a local march and gathering on Main Street in Jonesborough will take place from noon until 5 p.m.
Local hatmaker Karen Moran nabbed a seat on a bus to D.C. shortly before tickets sold out. A retired midwife, Moran is a strong advocate for women’s rights so she will be marching among the droves of women who will fill Washington the day after the election.
“It's not just women's rights, it's everybody's rights,” she said. “We have a right to be led by somebody who is qualified with a good head on his shoulders and not a loose cannon.”
Moran also makes hats with her daughter for the Holston Mountain Hat Project and will be crafting as many hats as she can for the Pussyhat Project — a project to get as many bright pink hats on the heads of participants as possible for the march. Moran said she will make as many as she can in between making hats for her business, and will bring them with her to the march.
“I'm going up there for my granddaughter and grandson, all the women I've helped through the years, and my daughter, and I’m going up there for myself,” she said.
Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected]. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.