FAQs about the Presidential Inauguration, the swearing-in ceremony, the parade and more
The Presidential Inaugural Committee asks that Americans stay home and celebrate this year's inauguration virtually. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an order that pauses museum operations and indoor dining until Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 at 5 a.m. Even for those activities that are not paused by order, the Mayor strongly encourages residents and visitors to be cautious and to limit their exposure to other people so as to limit the spread of COVID-19. Note the latest travel safety information before planning any visit to DC.
Witness history from home as the United States of America welcomes a new commander-in-chief on Jan. 20. If you’re looking for more information about celebrating the presidential inauguration, then check out these commonly asked questions.
Where can I see the swearing-in ceremony?
Tune in to the Biden Inaugural Committee YouTube channel to watch official Presidential Inauguration events. Live events include:
- COVID-19 Memorial | Tuesday, Jan. 19 - 5:30 p.m. - 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 One | Tuesday, Jan. 19 - 8:30 p.m. - A celebration of the accomplishments of the African-American and black community and the historic inauguration of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
- Celebrating America hosted by Tom Hanks | Wednesday, Jan. 20 - 8:30 p.m. - The primetime special hosted by Tom Hanks will feature remarks from President Biden and Vice President Harris and performances that represent the rich diversity and extensive talent America offers.
- The Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris | Wednesday, Jan. 20 - Starts at 10 a.m. - The United States of America's historic 59th inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take place from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
When and where is the swearing-in ceremony?
The 46th President of the United States will be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 20 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Both the vice president-elect and president-elect will take Oaths of Office, which usually takes place at noon, followed by an inaugural address. In-person attendance is limited to Congress due to safety protocols.
Instead of a traditional inaugural parade, the Bidens will arrive at the White House with a presidential escort consisting of representatives from every branch of the military.
A “virtual parade” showcasing communities across the country will be televised.
A virtual lighting ceremony honoring American lives lost due to COVID-19 will take place on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Communities across the country are invited to join by lighting buildings and ringing church bells.
There will be a primetime television program hosted by Tom Hanks at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 titled “Celebrating America” instead of traditional inaugural balls. Participating artists include Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake.
More information can be found via the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Mayor Bowser's office also has a dedicated website for the event.
How can I view the new president’s parade route?
Plan to watch the procession from home this year. After being sworn in, the president typically goes on a ceremonial parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. In the past, the parade has begun at approximately 3 p.m. on 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. A “virtual parade” showcasing communities across the country will be televised. The parade will begin at approximately 3 p.m. on Inauguration Day. Visit the website of the Presidential Inauguration Committee for more information.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the presidential inauguration, check out more Presidential Inauguration content such as what's open, things to do this winter and more.