Vendors from near and far pack D.C. streets

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Local,DC,Steve Contorno,Inauguration

Many of the vendors playing their wares along D.C. streets are local residents, but others flocked into town from across the country to take advantage of the sales opportunities that come with President Obama's second inauguration.

Dan Thompson brought his "I Love Michelle Obama" t-shirts all the way from Atlanta to sell at L'enfant Plaza.

"I have something no one else has," Thompson said. "This is original. You can't get it anywhere else."

But while the day promised to be lucrative for those vendors who braved the cold, few expected sales to top 2009, when nearly 2 million people filled the National Mall to see Obama's first, historic swearing-in. Crowd estimates for Monday topped out at 700,000.

"I think 4 years ago sales were probably twice as good," said Marlyand resident Hassan Maliq, who was selling buttons, tote bags and commemorative tickets. "It's never going to be as good the second time around. That was epic."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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