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President Barack Obama Inaguration Day Schedule of Events

January 20, 2009 President Barack Obama will officially become the United States 44th President, the first African-American President and the President who will be most challenged considering the current situation of the United States. There are a lot of pre-events and post-events during this week long Inaguration Celebration. Here are some of the scheduled events...

January 18

8:00 AMGates open to general public for the We Are One Inaugural Celebration. The Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens are open to the public. Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
12:00Children's Inaugural Ball Noon-5 PM
2:30 PMWe Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial: A public celebration, free to the public.

The entire show will be broadcast live and for free on HBO (Even though it is shown on HBO, anyone -- subscriber or not -- will be able to watch. Check your local cable/satellite listings for the channel in your area. The celebration will be rebroadcast at 7PM ET/PT and 11:30 PM ET/PT.

Musical performers scheduled for the event includeBeyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock,Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

7:00 PMThe "We Are One" inaugural celebration will be rebroadcast on HBO to all cable and satellite subscriber as an open feed -- you do not need to subscribe to HBO to watch this special event.
EveningVarious inaugural balls held around Washington, DC. They generally take place in the evening; times vary -- check each ball's web site for details.
11:30 PMThe "We Are One" inaugural celebration will be broadcast on HBO to all cable and satellite subscriber as an open feed -- you do not need to subscribe to HBO to watch this special event.

January 19 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

DayPresident-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden will participate in service activities to commemorate Dr. King.
EveningConcert at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC. Though it is free and open to the public, tickets are required. Information on obtaining tickets is not yet available.

January 20 — Inauguration Day

According to the National Weather Service, a typical Inauguration Day's normal temperature for the noon hour is about 37°F under a partly cloudy sky with a 10 mph wind. They rate the chances of precipitation at 1 in 6 and the chances of snow at 1 in 20. On the plus side, if it does rain or snow, there is a strong likelihood (a 4 to 1 chance) it will only wet the pavement. For up-to-date weather information, see the Capital Weather Gang blog.

8:00 AMGates open for ticketed attendees -- if you have tickets, it will be wise to arrive very early as crowds will be huge and security heavy.
10:00 AMPreliminary festivities begin, including music by The United States Marine Band, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
11:30 AMIf you have tickets to the Inauguration ceremony, you must have passed through security by this time.
  • Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
  • Aretha Franklin will sing
  • Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office
  • Music composed by John Williams and performed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill.
12:00 NoonAs specified by the U.S. Constitution (20th Amendment), presidential terms of office begin and end at 12:00 noon on January 20. Barack Obama will take the oath of office, which is this simple, 35-word, statement:
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.
12:05 PM (approx)President Barack Obama will give his inaugural address, speaking to the nation and world, for the first time, as President of the United States, followed by:
  • Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
  • The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"
1:00 PM (approx)Inaugural Luncheon. For details on the menu and invited guests, see the news release.
2:30 PM (approx)Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. If you have tickets, you need to be in your seats by 1:00 PM. There is open seating along Pennsylvania Avenue. For information on how to get to the parade route, for people with and without tickets, see the Inaugural Committee's parade information page.
EveningThere are many inaugural balls held around Washington, DC. Some will be hosted by President Obama, others are just parties.

Balls Hosted by President Obama
For details, see the press release.

  • Youth Inaugural Ball - Young Americans aged 18-35
  • Obama Home States Inaugural Ball - Illinois and Hawaii invited guests
  • Biden Home States Inaugural Ball - Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests
  • Eastern Inaugural Ball - CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI invited guests
  • Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball - MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, and WV invited guests
  • Midwest Inaugural Ball - KS, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, and MO invited guests
  • Southern Inaugural Ball - AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX invited guests
  • Western Inaugural Ball - AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS invited guests
  • Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, hosted by President Obama (New 1/5)
    Washington Convention Center. Low Cost and open to public.
  • Commander-in-Chief's Ball, hosted by President Obama (New 1/1)
    For men and women in uniform only.

Unofficial Balls

January 21

8:30 AM<National Prayer Service, led by The Rev. Sharon Watkins, at the National Cathedral. This non-denominational service will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by religious leaders of a variety of faiths. This is an invitation-only event.

Among the religious leaders taking part are:

  • Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.
  • The Rev. Suzan Johnson-Cook, senior pastor of the Bronx Christian Fellowship in New York City
  • Rabbi Jerome Epstein, director of the United Synaogue of Conservative Judaism in New York City
  • The Rev. Carol Wade of Washington National Cathedral
  • Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America in New York City
  • The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners in Washington, D.C.
  • Rabbi Haskal Lookstein, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurunm in New York City
  • Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston

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