Hargrove Incorporated works around the clock to bring inaugural floats to life
Hundreds of workers in Prince George's County are logging some serious hours ahead of President Barack Obama's swearing in. They're working around the clock so the first family can enjoy an inaugural parade unlike any other.
Hargrove Incorporated in Lanham houses some serious talent. The family-owned, general contracting company has been tapped for more than 60 years to put its touch on presidential inaugurations.
Hargrove employee Jorge Hernandez said, "This is very exciting for me."
Hernandez is making his mark on the inaugural floats with paint. He's been working for Hargrove Incorporated for 17 years.
Phillip Mullen, a shop worker at Hargrove, added, "It's pretty hectic. It's like a circus."
Mullen is one of the guys behind signage - banners and stage backdrops.
He's busy decorating walls as tall as 21-feet.
"These panels are going to be part of the backdrop for the children's inaugural ball," Mullen added.
The warehouse, which is the size of eight football fields, is now staffed around-the-clock. It takes 600 feet of lumber and more than 300 gallons of paint to bring the floats to life.
Fred Strickland, the executive director of production, explained, "They are large floats. They take almost 3,000 man hours to build eight floats in about 19 days."
This is Strickland's seventh inaugural parade. He oversees welders, artists, carpenters, graphic designers among many others.
"It is the proudest event we do every four years,"Strickland said.
Hargrove has put its touch on every inaugural parade since President Harry Truman's second inauguration in 1949.
This year's custom designed floats represent the first and second families' home states.
Four others honor the extraordinary progress we've made as a nation.
"Every four years this our show," Mullen continued.
Here's another interesting fact. About 60 percent of the floats are recycled. Some of the materials are saved for sentimental value.