Wednesday, January 20 is the inauguration day for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The schedule is jam-packed, so here is an hour-by-hour breakdown of what to expect, plus what the various broadcast and cable stations are planning in terms of TV coverage.
All times Eastern.
10 a.m. — Streaming online beginning at 10 a.m. comes “Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans.” It will be a curated live stream for young Americans that ends at 12:30 p.m. and is being hosted by Keke Palmer. It also includes a special message from Dr. Jill Biden, a segment on pets of the White House, and other special segments.
Noon — The inaugural ceremony will take place at the U.S. Capitol, with Biden and Harris taking their oaths of office before Biden delivers his inaugural address. Lady Gaga will perform the National Anthem, and Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks will be on hand to perform in person, while there will be virtual performances by Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen.
The inauguration invocation will be given by Reverend Leo O’Donovan who is a former Georgetown University president. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Andrea Hall, a firefighter from Georgia. There will also be a poetry reading from Amanda Gorman, who is the first national youth poet laureate, and there will be a benediction to wrap things up given by Reverend Silvester Beaman of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
This will lead to the Pass in Review, which features members of the military welcoming the new administration at the East Front steps of the Capitol.
Following that is the Arlington National Cemetery wreath-laying ceremony, which will feature Biden and Harris and their spouses, plus former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton and their spouses.
3 p.m. — The University of Delaware and Howard University drumlines will escort Biden and Harris to the White House, which will be followed by a “Virtual Parade Across America.” It is being hosted by Tony Goldwyn and features appearances and performances by the New Radicals, Andra Day, Jon Stewart, Kaitlyn Saunders, Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix, Katie Ledecky, and Nathan Apodaca.
8:30 p.m. — The virtual “Celebrating America” special will air across multiple channels. The 90-minute special is being hosted by Tom Hanks and features performances and appearances by Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chef José Andrés, labor leader Dolores Huerta, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons, and Jon Bon Jovi and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The TV Coverage
Beginning at 7 a.m., all three major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — will begin their inauguration day coverage during their morning shows. CNN and C-SPAN will also begin their coverage at 7 a.m.
MSNBC will start its coverage at 9 a.m.; HLN’s coverage starts at 10 a.m.; BET, CNBC, and Fox News all start their coverage beginning at 11 a.m.
The primetime special will air across ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, BET, and PBS beginning at 8:30 p.m. The special will also be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse, plus the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s social media feeds.
The 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden will start at noon ET on Wednesday, January 20 in Washington DC.