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Inauguration Frenzy Scaled Back

1/16/2013, 12:06 p.m.

"I do them by hand so they're a little slow to make," said Baylor, 50, whose business is on the second floor above A Fresh Look Salon on H Street in Northeast.

On Friday, Jan. 11, dozens of people showed heightened interest in scoring Obama memorabilia at the opening of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee's official store at 1155 F St., NW. Customers scooped up buttons and other presidential commemoratives. One resident from Upper Marlboro, Md., traveled miles to peruse the new store.

"I'm hoping to buy Obama stuff for those friends who couldn't make it this time," said Deltha Cousar-Jeffries, 57, who sported a "AKAs for Obama" sweat shirt.

This year, she volunteered to work during inauguration because she was stuck for two hours in the Third Street tunnel under the Capitol Grounds during the 2009 inauguration. It was later dubbed the "Purple Tunnel of Doom." This year's committee is trying to prevent a repeat. District officials expect about 800,000 at Obama's swearing-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - a far cry from the nearly two million who attended the first.

Festivities at the inaugural store's opening featured members of Ballou Senior High School's Majestic Marching Knights, which will perform in the inaugural parade on Jan. 21; and Abe Lincoln, the Washington Nationals' racing mascot, who greeted passersby.

"All the proceeds from the store will go toward inaugural festivities," said Cameron French, a spokesperson for the inaugural committee, who added the store will close Thursday, Jan. 24.

"The online store may remain open for a period thereafter but no official close date has been announced."