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What time is it on? Where can I watch it? Everything you need to know about the inauguration

Who’s providing the entertainment? What’s the weather forecast? Your questions, answered.

Britain Trump Madame Tussauds Madame Tussauds' designers apply the final touches to the wax figure of Donald Trump. Source: Frank Augstein

TWO MONTHS (AND countless tweets) after his election, the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump finally takes place today.

The official transition of power will take place at noon (5pm Irish time). Trump will take over as the most powerful political figure in the world, and Barack Obama and family will swiftly depart Washington by helicopter.

The ceremony has been overshadowed by numerous Trump-based controversies in the months since his shock election win. More recently, the incoming US president and his supporters have been involved in a spat with high-profile congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who, alongside a number of other Democrats, plans to boycott today’s events.

So just who is attending the swearing-in? How will the day play out? And, after all those high-profile musicians turned down a chance to play at the event, who’s providing the entertainment?

Who’s going?

In keeping with tradition, all former presidents who are well enough to attend will be at the inauguration ceremony, which begins on the west front of the Capitol building from 9.30am (2.30pm in Ireland).

Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton will line up alongside Republican George W Bush; George HW Bush, who is in frail health, won’t be present.

Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton will also be there – as will members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, diplomats and (of course) tens of thousands of members of the public.

Inauguration Trump House Democrats The US Capitol frames the backdrop over the stage during a rehearsal of President-elect Donald Trump's swearing-in ceremony in Washington. Source: Patrick Semansky

Who’s not?

More than two dozen Democratic lawmakers have now said they won’t attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration - the vast majority of them in protest at Trump’s attack on civil rights icon John Lewis and others.

Trump lashed out at Lewis last weekend after the longtime congressman said he was skipping the ceremony because he sees the New York businessman’s election as illegitimate.

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump said on Twitter.

Known for his decades of work in the civil rights movement, Lewis, 76, marched with Martin Luther King at the August 1963 rally in Washington at which King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Who’s providing the entertainment?

Trump’s team made known in recent months that it had reached out to a number of top musicians including Elton John, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and country legend Garth Brooks.

They declined an invitation – as did Welsh singer Charlotte Church, who took to Twitter last week to slam Trump’s team for not doing some simple research, before asking her.

The most famous performers at Trump’s inaugural festivities will be Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood, country singers with forthright patriotic anthems, and emerging 16-year-old soprano Jackie Evancho, a former America’s Got Talent contestant. Evancho will sing the national anthem.

The Rockettes, the all-female dance troupe known for their high kicks and popular shows in New York, will also perform – although management gave members the right not to take part after objections.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir have been booked too – although one member quit the group last month after news of their planned appearance emerged, saying she’d rather not appear to endorse Trump’s “tyranny and fascism”.

Source: America's Got Talent/YouTube

What’s the full schedule for the day?

Briefly:

Trump, Pence and their families are expected to attend services at St John’s Episcopal Church, just steps from the White House, in the morning.

Afterwards the Obamas will welcome Trump and his wife Melania to the White House for morning tea. The two couples will then travel together to the Capitol by motorcade.

9:30am (2.30pm in Ireland): Inauguration ceremony begins with musical performances.

11:30am (4.30pm): Opening remarks. Religious leaders will offer the invocation and readings.

Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Noon (5pm): Trump will recite the oath of office, administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

He will use president Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration Bible, as well as the Bible that Trump’s mother gave to him at his Sunday school graduation in 1955.

Afterward, Trump will deliver his inaugural address.

GOP 2016 Trump Trump holds up his Bible during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Source: AP/Press Association Images

12:30pm (5.30pm): Ceremony ends. Trump and Pence attend the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol.

3pm to 5pm (8pm to 10pm): Inaugural parade. The newly minted president and vice-president make their way 2.4km along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, trailed by some 8,000 parade participants. They will include members of all US military branches, as well as high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, emergency services staff, veterans groups and even a tractor brigade.

7pm to 11pm (midnight-4am): Trump, Pence and their wives will make appearances at three official inaugural balls, two of which will be held at the Walter E. Washington convention centre and the other at the National Building Museum. A number of semi-official and unofficial balls also will take place throughout the city.

Where can I watch it?

On pretty much any rolling news channel – if you’re not near a TV, you can watch a live feed of Sky’s coverage via Youtube here, for instance.

If you’re looking for an Irish view on proceedings, an RTÉ News special begins from 4.15pm, and will be followed straight away by Nuacht and Six One.

Inauguration Rehearsal Source: Patrick Semansky

What can we expect from the inaugural address?

“This is a president-elect who is just anxious to get back to work,” Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of Trump and chairman of the inaugural committee, told CBS this week. 

Trump will focus on “issues that unite us,” Barack said, adding that the divisions that arose in the US during the campaign would “vanish”.

As for who’s writing it? One Donald J Trump, apparently.

Two senior transition officials told CNN this week that Trump had followed through on a pledge he made to guests at his Florida estate last month that he planned to pen the speech personally.

It’s a departure from how he operated on the campaign, when he either delivered remarks off-the-cuff or read speeches written by adviser Stephen Miller. As CNN reported, it’s unclear how much involvement Miller has had in fine-tuning the address.

cnn1 Source: CNN screengrab

How many people will be there?

Depends who you ask – but NBC Washington has collated the numbers, and says that the various agencies with roles organising the inauguration ceremony are preparing for between 700,000 and 900,000 people.

Barack Obama is widely regarded to have broken the record for crowd size at his first inauguration back in 2009 when an estimated 1.8 people packed the National Mall and surrounding areas.

President Obama's first 100 days Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Will there be protests?

Yes. There’ll also be tens of thousands of protesters in Washington today and over the weekend. According to the Washington Times, permits have been granted for 23 demonstrations in the city – a massive jump on the number granted in previous years.

From the paper:

Leading the Friday protests is the ANSWER Coalition, which has three permits for #InaugurateTheResistance events that could draw more than 20,000 activists. The main protest, featuring music and DJs, falls along the parade route at the Navy Memorial.

A Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for tomorrow, is expected to attract as many as 200,000 people. By contrast, between 25,000 and 30,000 people protested at Richard Nixon’s second inauguration.

An interactive map of the location of each protest is available at Mic.com. 

prot1

What’s Barack Obama doing?

The Obamas will be heading for the far side of the country as soon as today’s ceremony comes to an end.

The outgoing president, in keeping with custom, will be allowed one final trip aboard the presidential plane on the day of his successor’s swearing-in.

Barack, Michelle and family will travel to Palm Springs in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times. The White House hasn’t provided any further details on what they’ll be getting up to.

Obama Source: Susan Walsh

What’s the weather forecast?

At the time of writing, the outlook was for rain and temperatures of 7 degrees.

- With reporting by AFP 

How are you feeling about the Trump presidency? Concerned? Delighted? We’d like to hear our readers views – so if you’d like to drop us a quick mail please send it to daragh@thejournal.ie. Include your first name and your county, and we’ll publish some of the messages as part of our liveblog on the inauguration this afternoon.  

Read: ‘It’s a great thing’: Trump heralds Brexit >

Read: Latest Alec Baldwin parody takes aim squarely at Trump’s ‘dodgy dossier’ >

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