The inauguration of the 46th president and vice president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, is going to look a little different. The usual day-long celebration filled with crowds and parades will be traded for a virtual celebration to ensure compliance with coronavirus safety protocols.
Using the Democratic National Convention’s program last year as inspiration, the inaugural committee shared that the digital event will celebrate United States heroes and “highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage and resilience of the country.” The inauguration’s theme will be “America United.”
In addition to the public health guidelines in place as a result of the pandemic, the inauguration ceremony will also feature heightened security following the insurrection at the Capitol spurred by pro-Trump and white supremacist rioters.
While the presidential inauguration will officially begin at 12:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, coverage of the event will begin on major news networks far earlier. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, PBS, CNN and MSNBC will offer live coverage as well as livestreams on their respective websites. C-SPAN will also stream the event online.
The star-studded affair will also include Lady Gaga, who will sing the national anthem, a performance by Jennifer Lopez and a poetry reading by Amanda Gorman. In attendance will be members of Congress as well as former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Donald Trump has stated he will not be attending, making him the first president since Andrew Johnson to do so.
In lieu of the inaugural ball, the event will feature a TV special titled “Celebrating America,” hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring performances by Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemens and more. The special will air beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS, ABC and NBC, as well as CNN and MSNBC via cable or live TV streaming. Fox News will not broadcast the special but will air live remarks from Biden and Harris Wednesday night. Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will introduce segments throughout the night.
Watch the livestream below.