Biden’s inauguration day will be unlike any other in history. Here’s what to expect.

GettyImages biden harris
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (L) looks on as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) delivers remarks on January 08, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.

  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20.
  • Celebrities Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at the ceremony, Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday.
  • Biden and Harris will then speak to the nation via a TV special at 8:30 p.m. that will feature performances by Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and other A-listers.
  • The inauguration is part of a five-day program with multiple virtual and socially-distanced in-person celebrations.
  • The festivities will be carried live on cable TV channels as well as streamed on social media platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20, joined by a slew of celebrities and speakers.

Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Thursday that plans for next week’s 59th inauguration include performances by singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. The ceremony will begin with remarks from Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family and former president of Georgetown University, and wrap up with a benediction from Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, also a close confidante of the Bidens.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major political events, like last year’s national conventions, have been reimagined as a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Inauguration Day in 2021 will be no different. The festivities typically attract hundreds of thousands of people who flock to Washington, DC, to witness the historic transition of power. This year only about 2,000 attendees will be permitted.

Read more:Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here’s how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

In another break with tradition, President Donald Trump has said he won’t be there. Trump is the first outgoing president since 1869 to refuse to attend his successor’s swearing-in.

The inauguration will be part of a five-day program that comprises both online and socially-distanced in-person events. The theme is “America United.”

“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement.

Biden and Harris will then address the nation in a televised special titled “Celebrating America,” which will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. The 90-minute primetime program will be hosted by actor Tom Hanks and feature performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, and Ant Clemons. 

On Friday, the committee announced additional musical performances by the Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen. 

It will air live on cable TV – channels include ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC – and be available to stream on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse will also carry live coverage of the program.

Other inaugural activities to take place next week include a “We the People” virtual concert on January 17, a “national day of service” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, and a “COVID-19 memorial to lives lost” on January 19. Biden’s committee is also preparing to install around 200,000 American flags that will span across the National Mall to “represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC.” The traditional parade will also be shifted online.

Multiple news outlets reported on Thursday that the National Mall will be closed to the public on January 20. Federal and city officials have said that they are tightening security measures amid possible threats of violence following last week’s deadly Capitol riots. 

Biden’s transition team said on Wednesday that they are receiving daily briefings on security and logistics ahead of the inauguration to help ensure a smooth and safe transfer of power.

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