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Ready for the Rally

The Roots, Sam Waterston, Jeff Tweedy and Sheryl Crow are among those reportedly on the bill for Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear).

But otherwise, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are keeping plans close to the vest. Rumors of surprise guests ranged from Oprah Winfrey to Bruce Springsteen — albeit those two name seem to pop up a lot lately. Winfrey several weeks ago awarded her studio audience trips to the rally.

Crews spent much of Friday setting up the performance area, with the Capitol as the backdrop.

Some 1,000 members of the media applied for credentials, but it’s a crapshoot to try to predict exactly how many people were going to show up. The Huffington Post was chartering a large fleet of buses from New York. Media orgs were making arrangements to take crowd estimates, a task that the National Park Service ceded after it found itself in the center of a dispute over how many people showed for the Million Man March in the 1990s.

“We want everyone to have a great experience,” says Craig Minassian, whose Minassian Media are producing the live event portion with Chris Wayne & Associates.

Construction at the Lincoln Memorial, where Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor was held in August, would have made staging the event there difficult.

On Friday, out-of-town attendees from around the country congregated on the Mall where the event is being held. The location on the Mall at 4th Street “is where they want to be,” Minassian says. With the Capitol dome in the backdrop, “it is really beautiful.”

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