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Donald Trump Inauguration: When Does It Start, Performers, How to Watch and More

Two months after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump will officially be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, January, 20. 

According to ABC News, the theme will be the same as Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“The theme is very simple,” Trump inauguration Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement earlier this month. “The idea is to have a crosscut of harmony of America and normal Americans that reflects on them, not on the power and prestige of this man.”

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President Barack Obama’s previous inauguration themes were “A New Birth of Freedom” (2009) and “Faith in America’s Future” (2013).

President-Elect Donald Trumps and Vice President-Elect Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) arrive together to deliver remarks at the Chairman's Global Dinner, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2017.
President-Elect Donald Trumps and Vice President-Elect Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) arrive together to deliver remarks at the Chairman’s Global Dinner, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2017. Pool/ABACA

The first official event, the Chairman’s Dinner, took place on Tuesday evening. The exclusive black-tie event introduced hundreds of foreign diplomats to the President-elect. 

However the boycott of the inauguration has also grown, with 65 Democratic lawmakers so far declaring they will skip the event in protest, The Washington Post reports.

Us Weekly has rounded up everything you need to know for the big week. And make sure to check back to watch the livestream on Friday:

Thursday, January 19

On Thursday, a “Voices of the People” event, which will include marching bands, baton twirlers and choirs, will be held at the Lincoln Memorial at 10:35 a.m. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will then lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and attend a welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

Country star Toby Keith will be performing at Trump's inauguration.
Country star Toby Keith will be performing at Trump’s inauguration. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Who is performing?
As previously reported, country star Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down and The Piano Guys are all expected to perform at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” The performances will be between 4 and 6 p.m. and will include remarks by Trump.

Soul singer Sam Moore also confirmed on Tuesday that he will be performing at the welcome concert. “As an American, I am honored to perform for President-elect Donald Trump,” the “Soul Man” singer said in a statement. “I was a participant in the civil rights movement and have seen many positive changes and advancement in my 81 years of living in this wonderful country, but I know we must all join hands and work together with our new president.”

Gospel singer Travis Greene also confirmed on Instagram Tuesday he will be performing at Friday’s Liberty Ball, saying he had accepted the invitation after “much prayer, deliberation and soul searching.” Michael Flatley, of Lord of The Dance fame, will also perform with his Irish dance troupe at the Liberty Ball, TMZ reported on Wednesday.

“We’re going to do something incredible,” Trump said in a Twitter video last week. “That’s going to be really fantastic.”

Keith, 55, defended his decision to take part in the inauguration on Friday, January 13. “I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” the country singer told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. “I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”

Jennifer Holliday, meanwhile, who was set to sing, dropped out on Saturday and apologized to the LGBT community in an open letter. “I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country,” she wrote, which was published by The Wrap on Saturday. “Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”

On Monday, the Bruce Springsteen cover band was the latest performers to drop out of the inauguration. “Our decision is based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band,” the group’s manager and keyboardist Will Forte told Rolling Stone. Back in October, Springsteen, 67, called Trump a “toxic narcissist” during an interview with U.K.’s Channel 4 News.

On Wednesday, Chrisette Michele confirmed that she would be performing. “My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us. I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us,” she wrote in a blog post. “Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind ‘These Stones,’ if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless. I am here. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters.’ I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.”

Singer Brad Arnold of the band 3 Doors Down.
Singer Brad Arnold of the band 3 Doors Down. Frank Hoensch/Redferns

Friday, January 20

Where will it take place?
The inauguration will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

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What time does it start?
Security gates will open at 6 a.m. and opening remarks will start at 11:30 a.m. The official transfer of power happens at noon, when Trump will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

What will Trump say in his address?
Trump revealed the first few lines of his speech during a Fox & Friends appearance on Wednesday, January 18. “Well, I have prepared it. Well, the first line is thanking everybody, all of the presidents, including, by the way, President Obama and [First Lady] Michelle [Obama], who have been absolutely nice. [My wife] Melania’s spent time with Michelle and it was great and [my daughter] Ivanka the other day spoke to her,” he said. “The conversation was going to be a quick conversation that lasted an hour. And they got along great, so I am just thanking President Obama and I’m thanking his very lovely wife because they have been so gracious.” CNN reports that the mogul has written his own address.

Who is performing?
America’s Got Talent
singer Jackie Evancho and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are performing during the swearing-in ceremony. Last month, one choir member resigned after the group decided to to participate.

Evancho defended her decision to participate during an appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday, January 18. “I have a lot of positivity from my family and that’s really what matters to me,” she said. “All of my true fans have been there for me and supportive and that’s really all I need, so I’m sticking to it.”

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Who is expected to attend?
All living former presidents will most likely attend the inauguration (except for George H.W. Bush due to his health). Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton will be joining fellow former president George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. Angelina Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, will also be there.

On Wednesday, Caitlyn Jenner tweeted about her plans to attend the inauguration. “Republicans need help understanding LGBTQ issues and I’m here to help!” she wrote. She flew out on Thursday and a fellow passenger tweeted a conversation that the Olympian allegedly had with a friend on the plane. “Caitlin Jenner is on my flight having a loud conversation about how Trump is great on trans issues lmao,” the person wrote. According to the New York Post, Trump’s advisers want the mogul to dance with Jenner at his inauguration celebrations.

The President-elect told Fox & Friends‘ Ainsley Earhardt that he doesn’t care if celebrities attend the inauguration. “Many of the celebrities that are saying they’re not going, they were never invited,” he said on Wednesday, January 18. “I don’t want the celebrities, I want the people, and we have the biggest celebrities in the world there.”

According to Newsday, 800,000 to 900,000 people are expected to attend the inauguration. The Washington Post reports that, altogether, inauguration festivities will most likely cost between $175 and $200 million. ABC News previously reported that Obama’s 2009 inauguration had a budget of $45 million.

George W. Bush Laura Bush
Former US President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will be attending. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

How can I watch?
Us Weekly
will be livestreaming the inauguration on Friday. All major TV networks and Twitter will also be airing the event.

What happens after the ceremony?
According to USA Today, Congress will host a luncheon for Trump and Pence. The president and first lady will then walk down Pennsylvania Avenue for a parade, which kicks off at 3 p.m. It will include veteran groups and high school bands, for about 90 minutes. Former presidents typically had parades that last for four hours.

When will the Radio City Rockettes perform?
Per Newsday, the dancers are slated to take center stage during the parade. As previously reported, some Rockettes have revealed that they don’t want to perform. One dancer, who spoke anonymously, told Marie Claire that she didn’t care if she lost her job over it. Rockette Phoebe Pearl, for her part, wrote on Instagram that she was “embarrassed and disappointed” to perform for the former Celebrity Apprentice host, 70.

When are the inaugural balls?
Two balls will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Trump will appear at 8 p.m. His last ball will most likely be at the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball at the National Building Museum. Last week, Trump said during a press conference that he predicts “massive crowds” at that they will be “very, very special, very beautiful.”

Saturday, January 21

Where will the prayer service take place?
According to USA Today, the service will begin at 10 a.m. at Washington’s National Cathedral.

What protests have been organized?
“Queer Dance Party”

LGBTQ activists protested against Vice President-elect Pence near his rental home in Northwest Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. They met outside the Friendship Heights Metro Station at 6 p.m. to chant and carry pride flags.

Women’s March on Washington
The biggest demonstration will be the Women’s March on Washington, which will take place on Saturday, January 21. Janelle Monáe, Maxwell and Angelique Kidjo will be among the artists to perform at the event. Other stars who are participating at the Women’s March and sister marches around the country include America Ferrera, Katy Perry, Amber Tamblyn, Amy Schumer, Cher, Alexa Chung, Christina Hendricks, Debra Messing, Edie Falco, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Chastain, Julianna Margulies, Julianne Moore, Robert DeNiro, Scarlett Johansson and Olivia Wilde. See the full list here.

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault,” the organization states on its Facebook page. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

The Women’s March on Washington will begin at Independence Ave & Third St SW and last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go here.

Women’s March on Main
Chelsea Handler will lead a sister march to the rally taking place in Washington, D.C., during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Saturday. It will kick off at the top of Main Street at 9 a.m. and include other stars such as Connie Britton, Benjamin Bratt, Aisha Tyler and Mary McCormack.

“We Stand United: New York Rally to Protect Shared Values on the Night Before Trump’s Inauguration”
Activists will gather on the eve of Trump’s inauguration to protest outside Trump Tower in NYC on Thursday. According to ABC, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Shailene Woodley and Alec Baldwin are among those who will attend.

“Join me on 1/19 at Columbus Circle to remind our next president of his hometown’s values & continue the work of solving America’s problems,” de Blasio tweeted on Monday.

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