Inaugural week street 'newscasts' lure onlookers

Washington_Amid heavy anticipation of Barack Obama's swearing-in as president, crowds are forming on streets and near the National Mall to watch network and local television anchors talk up the story of the young new year.

People gathered on the streets in frigid weather near the Mall and in Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Ave. from the White House, partially eclipsed by the large reviewing stand Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will use to watch the inaugural parade Tuesday.

Newsmen and women bundled in heavy winter coats, scarves, hats and gloves engaged in brisk banter on location while onlookers stood by at some of the inaugural day venues.

Monday is a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., and the government and many businesses were closed for the day. The King observance combined with the buildup for the Obama inauguration seemed sure to lure large numbers of visitors.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.