Fireworks, Protests, Celebs, Prayers — What to Expect at the Inauguration

If you've never watched a presidential inauguration before, this one is fairly traditional, but comes with a few unusual twists, making it doubly worth watching.

By Rachel Alexander Published on January 19, 2017

Besides a lot of paid violent protests, what else can we expect to take place at Friday’s inauguration? President-elect Donald Trump has promised it will be quite an event. “We’re going to have a very, very elegant day. The 20th is going to be something that will be very, very special, very beautiful.” An estimated 900,000 are expected to attend the 45th presidential inauguration.

Thursday: The Celebration

Events begin 3 p.m. EST on Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery, with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence laying wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknowns. In Washington, several marching bands will play at the southwest end of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

At 4 p.m., the “Make America Great Again!” Welcome Celebration concert begins at the Lincoln Memorial. Musical guests and celebrities making appearances include Toby Keith, Jon Voight, the Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, DJ Ravidrums, 3 Doors Down, and the Frontmen of Country. Many big names stayed away such as blind tenor Andrea Bocelli, who received death threats. Donald Trump himself will be speaking at the event.

The day will conclude with a fireworks show.

Friday: The Inauguration

The Trump and Pence families will attend a private church service Friday morning at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House, an historic house of worship known as “the Church of the Presidents.” According to the National Park Service, every President since James Madison has worshiped there on some occasion.

As is tradition, incoming President Trump will then meet with current President Barack Obama at the White House before riding together to Capitol Hill.

The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. on the western side of the Capitol building. The U.S. Marine Band will play the prelude. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, will deliver the welcoming statement. Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and the New Destiny Christian Center’s Pastor Paula White-Cain will deliver the readings and invocation. Cardinal Dolan will read King Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in leading Israel. The Missouri State University Chorale will play a musical selection.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will swear in Pence. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform next, followed by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in Trump. The Marine Band will play “Hail to the Chief.”

More than 50 Democratic members of Congress refuse to attend the inauguration. The left has planned massive violent protests, much of which was organized by an organization known as DisruptJ20.

Trump then delivers his inaugural address, which is expected to be short. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Reverend Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International will wrap up the proceedings with readings and the benediction. America’s Got Talent runner-up, 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, will conclude the inauguration by singing the National Anthem.

The hour-and-a-half-long inaugural parade follows at 3 p.m. Over 8,000 participants march along Pennsylvania toward the White House, including Trump and Pence. Talladega College, a historically black college in Alabama, is one of the organizations sending a marching band to participate, even though the school had to bravely ignore complaints from the public and a few alumni.

Finally, Trump, Pence, and their wives, will attend three inaugural balls, two at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and a third, the Armed Services Ball, at the National Building Museum.

Boycotting Congressmen, Protesters and Counter-Protesters

About 65 Democratic members of Congress are refusing to attend the inauguration. These include Sen. Jeff Sessions’ bitter critic, Rep. John Lewis; Keith Ellison, Congress’s only Muslim, who wants to run the Democratic National Committee; left-wing stalwarts like Rep. John Conyers and Maxine Walters.

The Atlantic reports that “A Senate Historian told The Sacramento Bee that  while ‘about 100 lawmakers skip the presidential inauguration every four years” due to scheduling conflicts, the Senate Historical Office ‘had no record of a boycott comparable to that being proposed for Trump’s inauguration.’”

The left has planned massive violent protests, much of which was organized by an organization known as DisruptJ20, which almost certainly receives funding from left-wing billionaire George Soros. Undercover videographer James O’Keefe of Project Veritas filmed activists planning to put butyric acid in the ventilation systems in order to drive people out of the balls. They also expressed their intent to form blockades in various locations.

While there are concerns the protesters will overwhelm law enforcement, a biker group is vowing to provide a “wall of meat” to block the protesters. The bikers are predicted to provide the biggest pro-Trump demonstration at the inauguration. Bikers for Trump founder and leader Chris Cox told Fox News, “In the event that we are needed, we will certainly form a wall of meat. We’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers. And we’ll be toe-to-toe with anyone who’s going to break through police barricades.”

The White House will be live streaming the events from its website, as are multiple news outlets. See the official program here.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC

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