by Sarah Gianni ’18
On Friday, January 20 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. This day marks the official end to a historic election season, and the beginning of an unprecedented administration.
According to a report by ABC news, the theme of the inauguration will coincide with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The festivities begin on Thursday, January 19, where President-elect Trump and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence will lay a wreath at Arlington National Ceremony and take part in a welcome ceremony held at the Lincoln Memorial.
The official inauguration ceremony will take place the following day, with opening remarks scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. At noon, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will perform Trump’s swearing in, symbolizing the official transition of power.
The inauguration has stirred up much controversy among media outlets, as the question of who will perform and attend the ceremony has been heavily scrutinized. The Trump administration was seemingly struggling to find acts that would partake in the ceremony, as many faced ridicule or had personal issues with performing.
Perhaps the biggest name who is booked for the event is former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho. The 16-year-old singer came in second place on the show when she was 10 years old, but has faced criticism after confirming her inaugural appearance. This disapproval stems from Evancho’s family background, as her sister Juliet is a transgender woman. Members and allies of the LGBTQ community have criticized Evancho’s choice, in light of Pence’s stance on gay and transgender issues.
In an interview with CBS on Sunday morning, however, Juliet said that she supports her sister’s decision to perform. “The way I look it at is Jackie is singing for our country and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people, so I feel like that’s really where I look at it and that’s where I am going to leave it right now.”
Other acts set to perform include the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and country star Toby Keith. High profile attendees include Caitlyn Jenner, all former living presidents, and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Following the inauguration ceremony, congress will hold a luncheon for Trump and Pence. In addition, Trump and the First Lady will partake in a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. In the evening, the official inaugural ball will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 7 p.m.
In contrast to the official inaugural events, thousands of citizens from across the country are expected to travel to D.C. to partake in protests.
The largest demonstration of the weekend is the Woman’s March on Washington, scheduled for Saturday, January 21 at 10 a.m. Participants will congregate at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street, beginning with a rally comprised of nationally recognized advocates, entertainers, artists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers.
For those who are not able to travel to D.C., the movement has also set up “sister marches” in other states for those who are interested. Those interested in watching the inauguration will be able to view the events on all major television news networks, as well as streamed on various online platforms.