Inaugural Schedule

Barack Obama’s Inauguration Schedule
By Jem Aswad

It’s an event that Washington, D.C., sees every four years — but it’s never seen an inauguration like this one. The entire city is practically under lockdown in preparation for Barack Obama’s historic inauguration on Tuesday.

While exact figures are uncertain, CNN reports that 1 million to 2 million attendees are expected for the inauguration, and tens of thousands of police officers, federal agents and National Guardsmen are being deployed in an unprecedented effort to ensure that the inauguration of the 44th president runs safely and smoothly. Similarly, the cost of the event has been disputed — up to $150 million but generally estimated at around $50 million — but it is reported to be the most expensive in history.

Cameras will be following the president-elect and his family every step of the way during the day — and you’ll be able to watch it live streaming on Here’s a look at where they’ll be for the ceremony, the parades — and of course the Youth Inaugural Ball and other balls throughout the evening.

» 8:25 a.m.: Obamas leave Blair House for prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal Church

» 8:35 a.m.: Prayer service

» 9:45 a.m.: Church service ends; Obamas depart for the White House

» 10:05 a.m.: Obamas arrive at White House for coffee with the Bushes

» 11 a.m.: Motorcade departs for the Capitol

» 11:30 a.m.: Bushes and Obamas proceed to platform on the West Front; California Senator Dianne Feinstein will issue the call to order and deliver brief welcoming remarks, followed by an invocation from Dr. Rick Warren and a performance from Aretha Franklin (who also sang at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration)

» 11:50 a.m.: Joe Biden is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Stevens

» 12 p.m.: Barack Obama is sworn in as president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama, with his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural Bible, will recite the same oath as his predecessors: “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.” Musical performance from John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill, followed by “Hail to the Chief” and a 21-gun salute

» 12:05 p.m.: Inaugural address, followed by a poem written and recited by Elizabeth Alexander and a benediction from Dr. Joseph Lowery. The national anthem will be performed by the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters

» 12:30 p.m.: Ceremony concludes

» 12:35 p.m.: Bush departs via helicopter; Cheney departs by limo

» 12:45 p.m.: Obama signs inauguration papers in the President’s Room

» 1:00 p.m.: Obama attends congressional luncheon

» 2:15 p.m.: Obama and Biden review troops at Capitol

» 2:30 p.m.: President Obama leads the parade from the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House

» 3:15 p.m.: Arrival at the White House

» 3:45 p.m.: Obamas and Bidens proceed to the reviewing stand; inaugural parade continues until 6 p.m.

» 7 p.m.: The official inaugural balls begin with the Neighborhood Ball at the Washington Convention Center, with performers scheduled to include Beyoncé. Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Stevie Wonder and others. Nick Cannon will DJ.

The event, expected to include the president and first lady’s first dance of the night, will be broadcast on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. From there, it’s on to other celebrations, including MTV’s Youth Ball.

“Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural” will air live on MTV on Tuesday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. MTV News will have wall-to-wall coverage of the event and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya in the days leading up to the event and in the days that follow.

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