2021 Inauguration Day schedule of President Biden, Vice President Harris

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What Inauguration Day will look like on January 20, 2021

*Note: Schedule of events are subject to change. App users click here to watch live stream.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KRQE) – Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States when sworn in on January 20, 2021; this will be the 59th Inauguration. The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the theme “America United” Monday, saying it “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future.”


Safety


The President Inaugural Committee says that their “top priority will be keeping people safe and healthy while honoring and resembling American inaugural traditions”. The ceremony will feature vigorous health and safety protocols to protect public health, including face-coverings and social distancing. Washington, D.C., is stepping up security, with thousands of National Guard troops standing by to protect the presidential swearing-in.

  • The Presidential Inaugural Committee asks that Americans stay home and celebrate virtually.
  • In-person attendance is limited to Congress due to safety protocols.
  • National Mall and Memorial Parks temporarily closed National Park Service public facilities, parking areas, and roadways. 
  • Officials shut down tours at the Washington Monument from January 11 through January 24
  • Beginning at 6:00 AM. Friday, January 15, all parking garages in restricted zones will be blocked off.
  • D.C. Metrorail and Metrobus expand the security perimeter that will be in effect for Inauguration beginning Friday, January 15 through Thursday, January 21.
  • The ceremony’s footprint will be extremely limited, and the parade that follows will be reimagined.
  • President-elect Joe Biden said that a “gigantic inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue” was unlikely.

Inauguration Day


This year, the Bidens will arrive at the White House with a presidential escort consisting of representatives from every branch of the military.

► ETA: 8 AM ET (6 AM MT) – Honorary Departure

President Donald Trump will leave Washington, D.C., early Wednesday, just hours before President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office. He announced earlier this month that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration, breaking with tradition. Instead, he’s expected to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

► 9:45 AM ET (7:45 AM MT) – President-elect Biden attends church service

► 10 AM ET (8 AM MT) – Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans

The PIC will host a first-ever curated livestream for young Americans before and during the Inaugural Ceremonies. The livestream, hosted by award winning entertainer and advocate Keke Palmer, will feature a special message from Dr. Jill Biden; commentary from historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Erica Armstrong Dunbar; a segment on presidential pets produced by Nickelodeon; excerpts of student voices from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs “We the Young People” programming; trivia questions, including some asked by Doug Emhoff; segments produced by the Library of Congress; and other special features.

► ETA: Noon ET (10 AM MT) – Inaugural Ceremonies

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol building. After they take their oaths of office, President-elect Biden will deliver an inaugural address laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation. 

Inaugural Program

  • Invocation – Father Leo J. O’Donovan 
  • Pledge of Allegiance – Andrea Hall 
  • National Anthem – Lady Gaga
  • 11:45 a.m.: Swearing-in of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. West Front of the U.S. Capitol by Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Noon: Swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden. West Front of the U.S. Capitol by Chief Justice John Roberts. (speed of delivery expected to be 60 seconds from camera to feed)
  • 12:15 p.m.: President Biden delivers his inaugural address. West Front of the U.S. Capitol. (speech expected to be 20 minutes long)
  • Poet Amanda Gorman, 22
  • Musical performances by Jennifer Lopez and a country singer Garth Brooks
  • Rev. Silvester Beaman, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, who will deliver the benedictio

Inaugural Luncheon
This year’s schedule of events does not call for a lunch break. Instead, there will be a Gift Exchange.

► 1:45 PM ET (11:45 AM MT) – Pass in Review

Following the ceremony, the President-elect, First Lady, Vice President-elect, and Second Gentleman will participate in a Pass in Review on the East Front with members of the military. Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflect the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief. 

► 2:45 PM ET (12:45 PM MT) – Wreath Laying at Arlington National Cemetery

The President-elect, Dr. Biden, the Vice President-elect, and Mr. Emhoff will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will be joined by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

► ETA: 3:00 PM ET (1:00 PM MT)

Presidential Escort

President-elect Biden will receive a Presidential Escort from 15th Street to the White House with every branch of the military will be represented in the escort, including The U.S. Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard, and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard.”

Parade Across America

The President-elect will receive a Presidential Escort to the White House. This will be followed by a “Parade Across America,” which will be televised for the American people and feature diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country.

► 8:30 PM ET (6:30 PM MT) – “Celebrating America” Prime-time Special

Hosted by Tom Hanks, this 90-minute prime-time program will feature remarks from President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and performances by Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, and Justin Timberlake.

► 10:53 PM ET (8:53 PM MT) – White House Fireworks


Additional Events Leading up to Inauguration Day


Saturday, January 16, 5:00 PM MT – America United

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) will host a welcome event to celebrate America, reflect and honor our history, and highlight the incredible diversity of the nation. Featuring musical performances, celebrity appearances, and remarks from some of the most popular leaders from across the country, the event will kick off five days of programming leading into the Inauguration. 

Sunday, January 17, 6:00 PM MT – We The People Concert

The PIC will host a first of its kind virtual inaugural concert, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and Debra Messing.

Monday, January 18 – All Day “United We Serve” National Day of Service

The PIC is partnering with local, state, and national organizations on service events for the National Day of Service on January 18, 2021, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ahead of the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Then at 6:00 PM MT, The National Day of Service will culminate in an hour-long celebration that will feature a diverse array of entertainers, inspiring speakers, and stories celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to service. 

Learn more at bideninaugural.org/day-of-service.

Tuesday, January 19

Noon ET / 10 AM MT- I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration
Discovery Inc. and Discovery Education will provide a virtual learning experience to educators, students, and families. The program will feature a greeting to students from Dr. Biden and provide behind the scenes access to this historic event through a series of interviews with inaugural experts and historians.

5:30 PM ET / 3:30 PM MT – Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial
The PIC will host a memorial to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in cities and towns across the country. A Washington, D.C. ceremony will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. We are inviting cities and towns across the country to join Washington, D.C. in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET in a national moment of unity and remembrance.


Sources

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