Peorians travel to Obama's inauguration

By Garry Moore

January 20, 2013 Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Hundreds of thousands of people are in the nation's capital this weekend to witness the second inauguration of President Obama.

One enthusiastic group is from Peoria, brought together by an adventurous businessman.

It started out as a simple thought by a well organized event planner, Cosmetologist Antwine Freeman, known for his attention to detail.

"I had an electoral party at my home with a bunch of friends, and that night after the election, we thought how nice it would be for us to be there for the inauguration,” Freeman explained. “That's when I got my wheels in motion. I called the bus company. Then I called to see where I could get tickets to get into the actual inauguration and from that point, I began to get my database together and contact family, friends, colleagues, and people in the community, and it became a snowball effect and began to be an overwhelming situation."

Many of the 55 people taking the trip have traveled with Freeman before to Broadway productions, style shows, and comedy shows.

"We will entertain up and down the highway,” said Freeman. “I have plenty of jokes. I have plenty of games, entertainment; again, this isn't my first rodeo. I have taken many, many bus trips, so therefore I know how to entertain those aboard."

After sightseeing and a personal guide through the metro system, Freeman's group will proudly stand in the nation's capitol to witness history.

"For President Obama to have ran and this is his second term, is more historical than we can ever imagine. So therefore, it means a lot to a lot of African Americans,” said Freeman. “It means a lot to a lot of people, period, is the fact that we have broken down barriers that we thought we would never break down."

Those barriers began to break down during the civil rights movement, a movement led by a man whose holiday this year coincides with the inauguration.

Freeman said, "That was another thing that made it so great 'cause that was the commemoration of Doctor Martin Luther King, so that made this trip even more worthwhile."

It is a journey that is the stuff of dreams.

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