The day has finally arrived. After an extensive campaign and presidential election like none before, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, January 20. Like anything that has taken place in the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic will have a visible effect on the procession, and there won't be the usual crowds to welcome the former vice president back to the White House. Despite this, there will be plenty of diverse events throughout the day, with a packed schedule celebrating the United States' newest president.
While Joe Biden is expected to take the Oath of Office at around noon Eastern, the full slate of events kicks off hours earlier and stretches into the night to mark the historic day, reported The Independent.
The Festivities Begin At 10:00 A.M.
The day begins with a livestream aimed at younger Americans, called "Our White House," which will go live at 10 a.m. Eastern on the official website of the inauguration and run until 12:30 p.m., covering the major events of the day. The stream will be hosted by the actress Keke Palmer and include First Lady Jill Biden for a wide ranging program that will feature conversations of the historical context of the day's events and even a segment dedicated to presidential pets.
The inauguration kicks off at 11:15 a.m., with Rev. Leo J. O'Donovan, the former president of Georgetown University, opening the event with an invocation. This will be followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, which will be led by Andrea Hall, the first Black woman promoted to fire captain in the South Fulton Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Georgia. Lady Gaga will then take the stage to perform the National Anthem. Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks will also be performing live from the event. The country music superstar called the opportunity to perform the chance to give a "statement of unity," according to an Inquisitr report. The event will be covered by all broadcast channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS. It will also be shown live on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN.
Following the performances, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into her role by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor previously swore Biden in as vice president in 2013. Biden will be officially sworn in as president and take the Oath of Office at about noon. He will be led by John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, and use a bible that has been in the Biden family since 1893 for the ceremony.
Following the inauguration, Biden and Harris will go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia, for a ceremony paying tribute to the military. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will join the 46th president for the event.
The Usual Inaugural Balls Will Not Go Ahead
Biden will then be given a Presidential Escort to the White House while joined by the University of Delaware Drumline and the Howard University Drumline, part of the Virtual Parade Across America, which is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. The event will feature appearances and performances by Jon Stewart, New Radicals, Andra Day, Kaitlyn Saunders, Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix, Katie Ledecky, and Nathan Apodaca, and aims to pay tribute to the heroes across America.
While the evening is traditionally marked for inaugural balls, restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic mean that a virtual ceremony will take their place. Celebrating America will air from 8:30 until 10:00 p.m. on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, PBS, and MSNBC, with actor Tom Hanks on hosting duties. Biden and Harris will give speeches and there will be performances from Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, the Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, and Jon Bon Jovi.