More than 500,000 people are expected in Washington, D.C. Monday for the formal inauguration festivities, many of them will be from the tri-state area.
65 fifth graders from PS 22 in Staten Island got up very early Sunday morning for a trip to Washington, D.C. they will never forget.
"To be able to see the President in person… it's the best. I always dreamed of it and it's the best thing that ever happened to me," said one excited young girl.
"It feels pretty awesome," added one boy.
The students will be singing on the Capitol steps during a prelude to President Obama's inauguration. They were invited by Senator Charles Schumer, who's on the inaugural committee.
"Kids are really stoked. We're very well prepared though and I think it's going to be an amazing event," said Gregg Breinberg, P.S. 22 Chorus Director.It's cool, the first Black President, twice as President -- that's awesome," said boy in anticipation of Monday.
In Manhattan, a group of Superstorm sandy survivors and first responders boarded a bus to attend a pre-inaugural brunch meeting with members of Congress.
"Hopefully by visiting Washington we might get the ear of some of the politicians," said Brian Heffernan, a Rockaway resident. "And hopefully the $50-plus billion allocated in federal funds will actually reach people on the ground."
Back at P.S. 22, parents said goodbye to their children knowing this will be an honor they'll remember all their lives.
"It's exciting, it's one in a lifetime chance they're going to have," said Oliver Lopez, a happy parent.
The chorus will sing "God Bless the USA" and several other songs. This is not the groups' first time in the spotlight. The students have performed at the Oscars and the White House Christmas tree lighting and on "Good Day New York."