LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Amid nationwide protests and boycotts ahead of Friday’s inauguration, many of President-elect Donald Trump’s Southern Californian supporters are joining thousands more across the U.S. who are flying to Washington, D.C., to celebrate the historic day.
Mark Vafiades of San Gabriel Valley is the California Republican Party’s regional vice-chairman. He and his wife got tickets to the inauguration and could not be more thrilled.
“Attending inauguration, there is a little bit of tension because you never know what’s going to happen, but for the most part it’s very exciting,” Vafiades told KCAL9 via Skype from the couple’s D.C. hotel room.
Vafiades was among hundreds of Trump supporters from the state invited to see Trump take the oath of office Friday. Vafiades says being in Washington means he can spend a rare few days among kindred political spirits, away from any backlash back at home.
“We were even cautious about putting a Trump sign in our front yard because we heard so many stories of the signs getting vandalized, or something happening to cars if they’re parked out front,” Vafiades said. “It’s just too bad, it’s sad.”
Trump supporters are not letting the headlines get them down. Some celebrities planning to attend the inauguration include actress and model Brande Roderick, who posted on Instagram before her flight to D.C.
Classical singer Jackie Evancho, who plans to sing the national anthem, posted a photo to Instagram during her run-through.
“We know we’re surrounded by people that think the same way we do, so, in that regard, it’s kind of relaxing, it’s fun, and it’s a lot different than what we normally experience in Southern California,” Vafiades said.
Among the hot tickets for Californians in the Capitol this week will be the Liberty Ball, hosted by 13-term California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who was reportedly on Trump’s short list to be secretary of state.