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Prince George’s County Business Designs Floats For President Obama’s Inauguration

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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LANHAM, Md. (WJZ) — A Prince George’s County company is back to play a pivotal role in the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Christie Ileto got a first-hand look at some of the parade floats Hargrove, Inc. is designing for the big event.

With 16 inaugurations under their belt, Hargrove Inc. said the quadrennial events are part of their DNA.

CEO Tim McGill says every cut, staple and stitch is a presidential affair.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “It still brings goosebumps to everybody in the company that we’re a part of history every four years.”

The family-owned business specializes in trade shows and special events. But like years before, they have been contracted to make eight parade floats, along with creating the staging and decor of the the official balls.

Their client is the president of the United States.

“Not your everyday client, but they are probably the best client because they’re so passionate about celebrating the inaugural,” said Director of Production Fred Strickland.

This year they get 20 days to put everything together, which means production is 24-7, with close to 60,000 man hours.

Strickland said this year’s festivities are toned down from 2009.

In “2009, there were nine inaugural balls across the city, the biggest change is they reduced the number to three,” he said.

The Lanham-based company has had a hand in every inauguration since that of Harry Truman in 1949.

“Every single inaugural is unique. It’s always different because they’re different people,” said McGill.

And as staff make finishing touches on the décor for their 17th inaguruation, McGill says the company is prepared for four years from now, for number 18.

The company does more than 1000 events a year.

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