There's a rich history to the Presidential inaugurations of the past. Emphasis on the "rich."
President Obama has raised at least $42 million for when he re-takes the oath of office. It's a far cry from the event's humble beginnings.
For a look at the history of the inauguration, and how it brings together regular people with DC's elite, is Kenneth C Davis, historian and author of, "Don't Know Much About the American Presidents."