Just about every night at a football field in Northwest, Howard University's marching band has been spending hours rehearsing around the track, preparing for its biggest event ever: Tuesday's inauguration parade.

In the lead-up to the passing of the keys to the White House, Washington, D.C., is giving entirely new meaning to the "party system." Most hotels have been sold out for months; Craigslist is overstocked with temporary rentals.

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