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Everything you need to know about Donald Trump’s big ceremony tomorrow

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Emily Badiozzaman
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We are just mere days from Donald J Trump, from The Apprentice lest we forget, being sworn into the highest position in America.

On Friday 20 January, he’ll waltz into the White House as the 45th president amongst an unprecedented amount of security due to the likeliness the event is to be a target for a terrorist attack.

Following the truck attacks that hit Berlin, Nice and Jerusalem, security around Washington is set to be high with a perimeter set up around Capitol building and a ring of steel where the President-elect will be sworn in. 

Heavy construction equipment including trucks loaded with cement, dumpsters and other barriers are being strategically placed around the city to help police restrict vehicle access to sensitive areas and boost crowd control.

Around one million people are expected to descend on Washington and given the nature of the election, violence wouldn’t be a surprise. 

FBI executive assistant director Paul Abbate said he will be watching from an inauguration command centre which will have cameras relaying images of every angle back to HQ.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said there were ‘no specific or credible threats’, but he said police and other agencies were ‘doubling down’ to combat any possible atrocities.

There will be almost 30,000 law enforcement officials on duty on Friday, including about 8,000 members of the US National Guard and 3,200 police officers drafted in from forces across the country.

Extra security will be focused on the Trump International Hotel, which is on the inauguration parade route.

Here’s everything else you need to know about the most controversial inauguration in history: 

Times and schedule

Although the inauguration technically lasts three days, beginning on 19 Jan with a wreath laying ceremony and the concert with all the hardly famous acts he’s managed to get and ending on 21 Jan with a national prayer service, the biggest stuff happens on 20 Jan.

Starting early at 9:30am ET (2:30pm GMT), the swearing-in ceremony begins with some musical performances.

Opening remarks happen at 11:30am ET (4:30pm GMT). If you want to watch it, the BBC will be starting their coverage at 4:00pm.

At 12:00pm ET (5:00pm GMT) Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. will swear Trump in after he’s sworn Pence in as VP.

Following which, Trump will give a speech someone else wrote for him - Stephen Miller who was often a warm up act for him on the campaign trail.  

The next president

He can waffle on for as long as he likes. Obama’s inauguration speeches were about 2000 words each, but Trump could try to beat the record length of an hour and 45 mins by William Henry Harrison who was sworn in in 1841.

Harrison’s was around 8000 words and he delivered it in a snowstorm, proceeding to make his way around well-wishers. He caught pneumonia and died a month later, delivering the longest speech and shortest term of office.

So, here’s hoping.

From 3:00pm-5:00pm ET (8:00pm-10:00pm GMT) the inaugural parade will take place where Trump will sit upon a special viewing platform. It’s said that it will be shorter than usual, around an hour and a half so that Trump can get some work done (lol) before hitting up some of the inaugural balls.

Trump has three sanctioned parties lined up, including the military-themed Commander-in-Chief Ball, originally established by George W Bush. Tickets for the Sanctioned Inaugural Ball are currently selling online for $3,995, if you fancy it. 

But there will be other ‘celebrations’ going on around the city, including one organised by the one and only Nigel Farage on the fifth floor of the five-star Hay-Adams hotel in Washington. He’s invited Trump but apparently his BFF hasn’t RSVP’d yet.

Everyone's favs

Who’s performing?

Trump has had some public struggles booking famous acts for the ceremony, eventually saying he didn’t want them anyway and wanted the people. So he’s ended up with a weird mix.

On Thursday 19, 3 Doors Down and Toby Keith (a country singer) are confirmed to perform amongst some less notable names.

On the big day, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing before Trump is sworn in. They have performed numerous times for numerous presidents, but this time round there has been some controversy. One member, Jan Chamberlin, resigned in protest, saying she felt “betrayed” and that the choir is “endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man”. 

16-year old former America’s Got Talent contestant, Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem.

During the parade The Talladega Marching Tornadoes, a college band from Talladega College, Alabama, will be performing, as will dance troupe The New York Rockettes.

Floyd Mayweather and Caitlyn Jenner have confirmed they will be attending.

Who’s planning it?

There are 300 people in Trump’s inauguration committee.

But remember Trump was on The Apprentice? Yeah, TV super-exec Mark Burnett, who is president of MGM Television and creator of The Apprentice has been the key advisor for the ceremony.

Even though he said the following after Trump’s pussy-grabbing clip came out:

“I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”

What will it cost?

The inaugural committee is said to have surpassed its $65 million fundraising target to pay for the event. So, a lot.

Will Obama be there?

Yes. The Obamas will meet the Trumps at the White House for a bittersweet coffee before heading to the ceremony together.

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But as soon as Trump’s speech is done, Team Obama get the hell out of there on a helicopter no less.

Probably as Hillary begs them to take her with them, as she will also be in attendance with her husband. She should be sworn in for her incredible strength to show face to be honest.

They will be joined by former presidents George W Bush and Jimmy Carter as well as 500 US politicians, including senators, governors and congressmen.

Theresa May can’t meet Trump until he is officially sworn in so Trump personally invited Nigel Farage and his fellow Leave campaigner Arron Banks.

Obama out.

What else is going on?

Amongst the ‘celebrations’ will be protests.

On Saturday 21 at 10am there will be the Women’s March on Washington. Over 200,000 people are expected to attend, with corresponding protests across the country in Miami, Seattle, New York and San Francisco. 

The attendee list for the protest is more star-studded than the inauguration with Katy Perry, Cher, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Zendaya, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler participating.

Internationally, there will be marches in London (see details here) and Canada.

99 protest groups - more than 10 times the usual number at past inaugurations with at least 63 of them planning Inauguration Day demonstrations.

Additionally, D.C. Cannabis Coalition, a pro-weed group will be giving out 4,200 joints to promote the legalisation of weed to be sparked at exactly four minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech.

Which may be the only way to get through it, tbh.

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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