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New leader welcomed country-style

January 20, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

BOONSBORO -- It was an inaugural celebration, country style.

A group of Democrats in the Boonsboro area decided to come together Tuesday to celebrate the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama.

And they did it in a barn, complete with its own big-screen television and plenty of food.

Red, white and blue bunting was draped along wooden beams inside and a picture of Obama hung over a gas fireplace that helped heat the huge structure.

The farm at 9349 Stottlemeyer Road is owned by Chris and Pete Madeo. Chris said she decided to host the celebration because she knew many people were excited about the inauguration but did not want to fight the crowds in Washington, D.C., to see it.

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So the Madeos decided to have a laid-back get-together where local residents could meet and "support our connections to each other," according to a flier for the party.

The celebration, which started at 10 a.m. and went into the night Tuesday, attracted about 110 people, Chris Madeo said.

Like many people across the country Tuesday, people at the event were in awe over witnessing the first black U.S. president being sworn into office.

"When I watched it today, I cried. I couldn't help but to cry," said Brenda Harrison of Emmitsburg, Md.

Mary Cottone of Sharpsburg sipped a drink as a replay of Obama's inauguration aired on C-SPAN.

"This day has been amazing. We've been looking forward to it happening for so long," said Cottone, a member of a group called Vocal Locals, who meet at the farm regularly to promote locally grown food, among other interests.

Edythe Rickard of Halfway said the excitement over the inauguration was simply an extension of the excitement that has surrounded Obama since before the general election.

Rickard said Obama signs available before the general election at Democratic headquarters on Potomac Street were quickly grabbed by his supporters.

"I have never, never seen it like this," Rickard said of the level of support for Obama.

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