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Barack Obama's inauguration will cost an estimated $ 170 million

world Updated: Jan 20, 2009 11:59 IST

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Despite country facing worst economic downturn since great depression, Barack Obama's inauguration will come with a hefty prices tag estimating at more than $ 170 million, a media report said on Tuesday.

But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab, ABC News said.

"They are not the $ 20 and $ 50 donors who helped propel Obama through Election Day," Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics, is quoted as saying. "These are people giving mostly $ 50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite."

The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed out Wall Street executives and employees, Ritsch said. "The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles. Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $ 7 million for the inauguration."

The donors will get some of the best seats in the house for the inauguration, as well as admittance to some of the best balls and other events.

The actual swearing in ceremony will cost $ 1.24 million, ABC News reported, quoting spokeswoman for Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural ceremonies.

It's the security, parties and and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill, it added.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $ 49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, DC And neighbouring states of Virginia and Maryland have requested another $ 75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.