Inauguration Schedule: What Is Happening and When

What time is the inauguration? Event schedule for Thursday, Friday and Saturday

On Friday, thousands of Americans will be on the National Mall and many more will be watching live on television when Vice President-elect Mike Pence and President-elect Donald Trump take their oaths of office. Official proceedings, beginning at noon on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, will conclude with the new president’s inaugural address to the nation.

Keep up with inauguration news and events with ties to Indianapolis by following our team of reporters and photographer who are in Washington, D.C., to bring you behind-the-scenes coverage of the festivities. Watch for reports at and on Twitter from Washington bureau reporter Maureen Groppe (@mgroppe), Statehouse reporter Tony Cook (@indystartony), trending news reporter Amy Bartner (@AmyBartner), breaking news reporter Justin Mack (@justinlmack) and photographer Jenna Watson (@JennaRWatson).

Here's what to expect on Thursday, Friday and Saturday:


Wreath-laying and welcome celebration

3:30 p.m.: President-elect Trump will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

4 p.m.: Concert near the Lincoln Memorial.


Swearing-in ceremony, procession and parade

11:30 a.m.: Opening remarks.

Noon: Official swearing-in ceremony.

Afterward: Following the ceremony, Congress will host a luncheon for the honorees inside the Capitol. Then, the presidential procession and inaugural parade will begin. More than 8,000 participants representing 40 organizations, from high school bands to veterans groups, are expected to attend.

Inaugural ball celebrations

7 p.m.: The president, vice president and their families will attend the official Inaugural Ball  at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Evening celebrations include other official and unofficial balls scattered across the district.


National Prayer Service

10 a.m. : An interfaith prayer service, a tradition that began with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933, will take place at Washington’s National Cathedral.

Preparations at the United States Capitol for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Inauguration Schedule: What Is Happening and When

Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office outside the Capitol on Friday, officially becoming the 45th president of the United States. But the ceremony is only the centerpiece of the week’s inaugural festivities — and protests.

We’ve pulled together a schedule of events to guide you through the week. Exact times are subject to change, but much of it is guided by precedent.

Thursday, Jan. 19

The festivities officially kick off on Thursday afternoon, with a wreath-laying ceremony, a concert and an intimate dinner.

3 p.m. | Wreath-laying ceremony
Mr. Trump will begin his public schedule with an inaugural tradition: laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the nation’s fallen soldiers.

4 p.m. | “Make America Great Again!” welcome celebration

Back across the Potomac, Mr. Trump will deliver brief remarks at a concert outside the Lincoln Memorial kicking off the inaugural events. The concert will be televised nationally and is free to the public in Washington. Performers include Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and more.

7:30 p.m. | Candlelight dinner
Mr. Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and their families will make an appearance at a candlelight dinner at Washington’s Union Station to thank donors at the inauguration.

Friday, Jan. 20

Inauguration Day begins with quiet prayer. It will end with the president dancing his way across the capital.

Early morning | Private family breakfast
If tradition holds, the Trumps and their invited guests will share a private breakfast at Blair House, the president’s guesthouse. They are expected to stay the night there Thursday into Friday.

8:30 a.m. | Private prayer service
The president-elect and his family will attend a religious service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, just a short walk from Blair House.

9:30 a.m. | Coffee date at the White House
The incoming and departing presidents will meet at the White House with their wives. As is customary, Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama will then ride together down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. | Swearing-in ceremony
With American officials and other dignitaries gathered on the West Front of the Capitol, the official inauguration ceremony will feature religious leaders with ties to Mr. Trump, remarks from Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the chairman of the congressional inaugural committee, and musical performances.

Around noon | Oath of office and inaugural address
Chief Justice John G. Roberts will administer the oath of office as Mr. Trump rests his hand on two Bibles: one he’s owned since childhood and the Lincoln Bible. Mr. Trump will then deliver his speech.

Sometime after noon | The Obamas depart
With Mr. Trump installed as president, the Obamas will bid farewell and depart from the East Front of the Capitol.

Early afternoon | Luncheon
The luncheon, held for government leaders and friends in the Capitol Rotunda, will feature musical performances, an elaborate menu and remarks to honor the new president and vice president.

After lunch | Review of Armed Forces
Mr. Trump will review the American armed forces from the East Front of the Capitol after lunch.

Thereafter | Inaugural parade
Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence will lead the parade from the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue, with thousands of military personnel representing each branch. Once he has arrived at the White House, Mr. Trump will watch the rest of the parade from a reviewing stand there.

7 p.m. and on | Inaugural balls
There will be two official inaugural balls, held on separate floors of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, as well as the Armed Services Ball, which will be held at the National Building Museum. Mr. Trump is expected to make remarks and take to the dance floor at all three.

Saturday, Jan. 21

The inauguration schedule ends Saturday morning, but tens of thousands of marchers have their say before the day is over.

10 a.m. | National Prayer Service
The Washington National Cathedral will host the traditional prayer service for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence to begin their terms in prayer and reflection. The service marks the end of the official inaugural schedule.

10 a.m. | The Women’s March on Washington
Expected to be the week’s largest protest action, the march begins with a rally at the base of Capitol Hill. The speaker schedule and the route for the marchers have yet to be announced. The march is set to begin moving at 1:15 p.m.

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