It's an event so big that even the unlikely American hero who hobnobbed with Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK and experienced first-hand every major historic event of the 20th century will be standing in the nose-bleed section.
Tom Hanks, whose character in "Forrest Gump" met with historical figures, influenced pop culture and famously said that life was like a box of chocolates, knows exactly what he'll get when he attends President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration: a view of the Jumbotron.
If only life imitated art.
U.S. & World
"Look, I'll be in the back," said actor Tom Hanks, who pledged his support for Obama in a MySpace video posted in May. "I'll sit on the Lincoln steps and just watch it from the distance on a Jumbotron. I've never been to anything like that, and -- finally -- a guy I voted for won."
Hanks has said he supported Obama because of his "character and vision, and the high road he has taken during this campaign" and that he has "the integrity and the inspiration to unify us, as did FDR and Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy and even Ronald Reagan when they ran for the job."
Obama's star-studded inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C., is expected to draw four million -- including a litany of stars like Hanks who will likely be crammed into the Mall with the unwashed masses.
"Jan. 20 is going to be ground zero for everyone who wants to be part of this celebration, and that's going to include boldface names and A-listers from Oprah on down," said Roxanne Roberts, co-author of the Washington Post column "The Reliable Source." "On that particular weekend, this is where the action is."
Indeed. Details are hazy on the official inaugural events but supporters such as Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen and Will.i.am are expected to be involved.
MTV, which is also hosting an inaugural party, is "inundated" with music stars who want to perform at the celebration.
"It's great when you have so many artists who are passionate about being part of this moment," said MTV general manager, Stephen Friedman.