President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States Wednesday, Jan. 20. Other than the actual swearing-in, very little of the ceremony will resemble inaugurations of the past.
For safety purposes, Presidential Inaugural Committee officials, who earlier this week announced America United as the theme of the event, are encouraging people interested in participating in the inauguration to do so from home. Here is a list of inauguration-related activities available and the inauguration schedule, as of Jan. 14. For the most up-to-date information on the inauguration, go PIC’s official website at bideninaugural.org.
- 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16 – Sussex County Day of Service Info Session with the Food Bank of Delaware and Blood Bank of Delmarva. A virtual informational session on how to get involved in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. Hear presentations from Food Bank of Delaware and Blood Bank of Delmarva and learn about many local service projects being hosted on MLK Jr. Day. For more information, go to mobilize.us/nationaldayofservice/event/368623.
- Monday, Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. The State Office of Volunteerism and Volunteer Delaware have a full slate of virtual events scheduled. For more information, go to volunteer.delaware.gov/mlkdayofservice.
- 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18: The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Organization of Sussex County will host Enough Is Enough: Drive Out Hate With Love, a virtual worship service. For more information, go to mobilize.us/nationaldayofservice/event/368677.
- 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19 – A lighting ceremony honoring Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. The vigil will take place at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce issued a notice Jan. 14 saying that, in a moment of unity and remembrance, town residents are invited to come out on the sidewalks at 5:30 p.m. to hold up a light, ring a bell or bang on a pot for one minute.
- Field of Flags: An extensive public art display on the National Mall that will include roughly 191,500 U.S. flags of varying sizes, flags representing every state and territory, and 56 pillars of light. This Field of Flags, which will cover the National Mall up to 13th Street, will represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C.
- Noon, Wednesday, Jan. 20: Biden will take the oath of office.
- Pass in Review: Immediately following the swearing-in, Biden will travel to the Capitol’s east side for the Pass in Review, a ceremonial opportunity to see the readiness of the military; every branch of the military will be represented.
- Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Following the swearing-in ceremony, Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to his wife Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, Biden will be joined by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton.
- 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20: Actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute prime-time TV special celebrating Biden’s inauguration as president. The special will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC.
- Parades, balls, performances and other celebrations: As of press time Jan. 14, the PIC has not scheduled the traditional pomp and circumstance. Instead, “inaugural activities will have a limited footprint and events like the parade will be reimagined.”