On January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office at noon EST, along with the Bay Area’s own Kamala Harris. Typically people come together, especially in DC, to witness and celebrate the new administration, but this year, we’ll all be safe at home.
Note: At 5.30 pm the night before the Presidential Inauguration, a candle-lighting ceremony will honor the lives lost to COVID-19 at the Lincoln Memorial. Participate by ringing bells at home. Municipal buildings may be lit up at this time, in case you happen to be out driving by one.
What to expect from 2021 Inauguration
You can watch the events on most television networks that carry news programming. Tune in at 8 am for ceremonial hubbub and 9 am for the actual swearing-in.
The events on the morning of January 20 will include
- The swearing-in ceremony outside the Capitol building, in which the President and Vice-President commit to performing the duties of the offices
- A Pass in Review, a military ceremony honoring the President’s new role as Commander-in-Chief
- The Presidential Escort, during which they make the journey to the White House
- Performances by Lady Gaga (National Anthem) and Jennifer Lopez (Musical Performance)
- Special for 2021: A Virtual Parade Across America, providing us with close-up images of the President and family, bands, dance troupes, and more, designed for at-home viewing.
Television special on the evening of January 20
- A 90-minute program, hosted by Tom Hanks will air at 8:30 PM, also on multiple networks and streaming services
- Biden and Harris will address the nation during the course of the program
- Other A-List celebrities have been booked and more expected to be confirmed throughout the week.
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Preparing to watch the inauguration at home
The inauguration committee is not afraid to sell you a sixty-dollar box of cardboard signs, buttons, and confetti, but we suggest you shop local instead.
Paper Plus Outlet on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley is a great place to find streamers, balloons, and themed accessories. See what they sell >
Local Food Adventures has assembled an Inauguration Breakfast Box along with accompanying zoom baking activity and watch party.
- (1) package of Mom’s Scratch Recipe Corn Bread from Everett & Jones Barbecue (makes 12 muffins)
- (1) 2 oz. bag of loose leaf tea from Papillon Quality Coffee
- 1.5 oz. jar of wildflower honey from Oakland Honey Company
- 1/2 cup jar of Garam Masala spice blend from Oaktown Spice Shop
- 1 free waffle coupon from The Home of Chicken & Waffles (owned by Kamala’s good friend)
- 1 4″X6″ handheld stick American Flag
- and more goodies, including a donation to the Thousand Oaks Elementary School PTA (Kamala’s elementary school) made in your honor and a link to a local Inauguration live watch party on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 starting at 8 am PT.
Kid-friendly Resources for Discussing Inauguration
Share your story. This interactive campaign from the Biden-Harris crew invites Americans to add their own story. Your family can watch videos that children have already uploaded.
Try to be in the Inauguration program. Upload a video!