Washington (AFP) – The inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president is the highlight of several days of pomp and circumstance in the US capital. Here’s a look at the timeline of events.
Thursday, January 19
10:35 am – Performances begin at Lincoln Memorial. “Voices of the People,” the first act of a day-long public concert, will feature groups such as the DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, the Republican Hindu Coalition, high school marching bands, choirs and baton twirlers.
3:30 pm to 4 pm – Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of the nation’s veterans.
4 pm to 6 pm – Trump will deliver remarks during the second act of the concert at Lincoln Memorial, dubbed the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” The event, broadcast live nationally, will be headlined by country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood and feature a fireworks finale.
Trump is expected to spend Thursday night at Blair House, the presidential guest residence across the street from the White House.
Friday, January 20
Morning – Trump, Pence and their families are expected to attend services at St. John’s Episcopal Church, just steps from the White House.
Afterward, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome Trump and his wife Melania to the White House for morning tea. The two couples will then travel together to the Capitol by motorcade.
9:30 am – Inauguration ceremony begins on the west front of the Capitol with musical performances.
Attendees will include members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, diplomats and the public. Former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will attend, as will Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton.
Former president George H.W. Bush is in frail health and will not be present.
Sixteen-year-old soprano Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem. The Rockettes dance troupe will also be performing, at a time yet to be announced.
11:30 am – Opening remarks. Religious leaders will offer the invocation and readings.
Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Noon – Trump will recite the oath of office, administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He will use president Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration Bible, as well as the Bible that Trump’s mother gave to him at his Sunday school graduation in 1955. Afterward, Trump will deliver his inaugural address.
12:30 Ceremony ends.
Afterward, in keeping with tradition, Trump and Pence will attend the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol.
3 pm to 5 pm – Inaugural parade. The newly minted president and vice-president make their way 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, trailed by some 8,000 parade participants. They will include members of all US military branches, as well as high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, veteran groups and even a tractor brigade.
7 pm to 11 pm – Trump, Pence and their wives will make appearances at three official inaugural balls, two of which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the other at the National Building Museum. A number of semi-official and unofficial balls also will take place throughout the city.
Saturday, Jan 21
10 am to 11 am – Trump and Pence attend the interfaith National Prayer Service, held at the Washington National Cathedral.
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