Inauguration Day 2017: What to Expect

The 2016 election cycle had quite a few ups and downs, and now we are mere days away from president-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration at noon on January 20. Not familiar with how inauguration works? Here’s an outline of what to expect throughout the day.

Morning Worship Service

Before the ceremony, it’s tradition for the President-elect to attend a church service. It was all started by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who attended services at St. John's Episcopal Church (next to the White House) before all four of his Inauguration ceremonies. Presidents have been following this practice ever since, however, not all choose to attend services with St. John's.

Procession to the Capital

Trump, Pence, and their families will be escorted to the White House by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC). Cabinet members and members of the JCCIC will follow as well.

Pence’s Swearing-in Ceremony

Before Trump takes office, Pence will step forward on the Inaugural platform and state this oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Trump’s Swearing-in Ceremony

Then Trump will take his turn and state the following words:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Inaugural Address

When both Trump and Pence are sworn into office, he will give his Inaugural address. This time is usually used for stating their goals while in office and where they hope the country will be in the next four years.

The Departure of Obama

This could go one of two ways. In recent years, the new president and vice president have escorted their predecessors out of the Capitol after the swearing-in ceremony. However, some past presidents choose to leave quietly after the ceremony. Given the current state of politics in Washington, it will be hard to tell how Obama will choose to make his exit.

Inaugural Luncheon

After the Inaugural address, Trump, Pense, and their families will be escorted to the Inaugural luncheon, hosted by the JCCIC. It’s tradition to feature cuisine from the home states of both the president and vice president. The event will include speeches, gifts and plenty of toasts to the new administration.

Inaugural Parade

The Inaugural Parade is the last event of the day. Trump, Pence, their spouses and special guests will watch the parade as it passes in front of the Presidential Reviewing Stand. Expect a procession of ceremonial military regiments, citizens' groups, marching bands and floats.


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