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Inauguration Day 2021: Here’s your guide on what to watch as Joe Biden becomes president

Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 7, 2020. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in Wednesday as the 46th president. And Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will become the first woman and the first person of color to hold the office.

Here is what to know about the 59th presidential inauguration.

Theme: “America United” is the theme to reflect “the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” according to a Presidential Inaugural Committee announcement.

Where to watch: The inaugural ceremonies are estimated to begin around 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time and can be viewed on the Biden Inaugural Committee YouTube Channel. It will be carried live on all major networks and platforms.

Biden and Harris will take their oaths of office outside the Capitol Building about 1 p.m. Biden will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and Harris by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Biden’s inaugural address is expected to include his vision to defeat the pandemic and unify and heal the nation, according to the Presidential Inauguration Committee’s website.

Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks will perform.

Poet Amanda Gorman, 22, of Los Angeles has been chosen to do a reading at the inauguration. She is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest inaugural poet in memory. Her inaugural poem is titled, “The Hill We Climb.”

An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans, hosted by entertainer Keke Palmer, will start about 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday at

No crowds: There will be no crowds at the National Mall. Instead, Biden will be sworn in before hundreds of thousands of American flags. The Presidential Inaugural Committee planted close to 200,000 American flags as a representation of the American people who can’t attend.

Other events: Biden will move to the Capitol’s East Front for the Pass in Review, a longstanding tradition in which a new president assesses the military troops. Biden, Harris and former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with their spouses, will then travel to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Biden will then receive a military escort, with every branch of the military represented, from 15th Street to the White House before an evening of virtual activities.

Virtual Parade Across America: Instead of the traditional inaugural parade past a reviewing stand in front of the White House, there will be a virtual parade that is expected to feature diverse performances from all over the United States. Time to be announced. Watch on

Primetime Special: The day’s festivities will conclude with the Celebrating America Primetime Special at 9:30 p.m. Mountain Time live on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and PBS. It also will be streamed at

Actor Tom Hanks will host the show that also will feature performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Timberlake.


(c) 2021 the El Paso Times

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