Tomorrow, at 12:00 p.m. EST, Donald J. Trump will become president of the United States of America. This will go one of two ways: He’ll either tank the economy, reverse 40 years of progress in the struggle for racial and gender equality, and start World War III with a really pissed-off China, or everything will turn out okay and we’ll collectively wipe this from our national memory. In the meantime, here’s all the information you need to get through the inauguration, Playboy-style.
The Inauguration Starts at 12 p.m. EST on the West Lawn of the Capitol.
Non-ticketed folks can watch the ceremony from screens placed along the National Mall. If you’re watching from home, coverage will begin at 5 a.m. on all the major cable news networks. The networks will also make the inauguration available to stream online and YouTube will stream a live feed.
Yes, Hillary and Bill Clinton Are Slated to Attend.
So are the Obamas, who’ve been admirably helpful and genial to the new First Family during their transition to the White House. Barack and Michelle will meet Donald and Melania at the White House for pre-game coffees and then ride to the party together. No doubt, Clinton and Obama’s attendance and cooperation signifies their commitment to the “peaceful transition of power.” George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are also going. The only living president who won’t be there? George H.W. Bush, who has to skip because of health concerns. “My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas,” he wrote Trump.
Fun fact: After the inauguration, the Obamas will take one last flight on Air Force One, to an as yet unknown destination, as per presidential tradition.
But More Than 60 Members of Congress Are Boycotting the Ceremony.
U.S. Representative John Lewis set the nation ablaze when he went on NBC to say that he does not consider Trump a “legitimate president.” He also announced that he would be boycotting his inauguration by skipping it. So far, a total of 65 members of Congress have followed suit. Here’s a full list of the officials who won’t be in attendance.
No Major Celebrities Are Planning to Attend
The “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration,” held on January 19, will be a D-list event, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary. During a sit down interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said, “I don’t want the celebrities, I want the people. And we have the biggest celebrities in the world there.“
He then refused divulge any names. So who exactly are these tremendous celebrities Trump convinced to show up? Toby Keith will be there, who’s most mainstream song is pro-lynching. So will 3 Doors Down, the group behind the soundtrack to a lot of adolescent angst in the early aughts. The biggest Hollywood name Trump managed to wrangle is Ray Donovan actor Jon Voight, who is more known these days for weighing in on his estranged daughter’s martial drama.
Some of those who signed on, only to back out: The B-Street Band, which performs Bruce Springsteen covers initially said they’d be there, then recanted out of respect for the Boss. Broadway star Jennifer Holliday also agreed to the gig, but after some reflection, stated she wouldn’t go as a show of solidarity to the LGBTQ community. (She later revealed she and her family had received death threats over her short-lived attendance.) This is not to say that Trump didn’t try. Reportedly, reps for the new administration reached out to Celine Dion and Elton John, who both refused. The best response, though, came from vocal wunderkind Charlotte Church, who tweeted “bye” at the president-elect after his staff (supposedly) asked her to perform.
But Trump Didn’t Want Celebrities Anyway
Inauguration Chairman Tom Barrack told ABC News that having A-listers in attendance isn’t necessary because the team is more interested in making sure Washington D.C. is surrounded by “soft sensuality.” He also said the ceremony will have a “poetic cadence”—which makes me wonder if Barrack realizes he’s planning a presidential inauguration, not a first date.
The List of Performers is Pretty Yawn-Inducing, Too.
The Radio City Rockettes are being forced to perform, much to the chagrin of some of their members. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will also be performing, though at least one of the group’s singers resigned. Jackie Evancho, age 16 and an America’s Got Talent runner up in 2010, will sing the national anthem. Reminder: Obama got Beyoncé in 2012.
How the Ceremony Will Go Down
First, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, using Ronald Reagan’s bible, will swear in VP-elect Mike Pence. Chief Justice John Roberts will then administer the oath of office to Trump, who will use two bibles, one given to him by his mother after his Sunday School graduation in 1955, and the same bible Abraham Lincoln used during his inauguration, which is admittedly badass.
After he’s sworn in, Trump will participate in a ceremonial parade starting on Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. The parade will showcase the military as well as several high school marching bands and organizations dedicated to law enforcement. The Girl Scouts of America will also be participating. Not so suprisingly, people are not happy.
What We Can Expect Trump to Say
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump’s inauguration speech will be "less of an agenda and more of a philosophical document.” Stephen Miller, who started out as a low-level aide to Trump’s Attorney General pick Jeff Sessions and ascended the political ranks to become one of the president-elect’s senior advisers, is writing the speech, which is expected to lay out Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office. More specific content has been kept tightly under wraps, however, except for a few hints. On January 18, Trump told Fox News that the first line of the speech would be “thanking everybody, all of the presidents.” Spicer added that the speech will be “personal” and that Trump will speak for about 20 minutes.
No One Knows Who’s Designing Melania Trump’s Dress
What will the First Lady wear? Definitely not anything by former Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent designer turned director Tom Ford, who said the First Lady is not “necessarily my image.” Speaking for his wife, Trump told Fox News that Melania “doesn’t like his designs,” thank you very much, even though Ford was asked to dress her several years ago. (He declined then, too.) To be fair, Ford said Hillary Clinton wouldn’t wear his clothes either, and many other designers, like Philip Lim, Derek Lam and Marc Jacobs have made it clear in much stronger terms that they’ll never dress Melania. So could it be Ralph Lauren, who created many of Hillary Clinton’s now-iconic debate ready pantsuits? Or Karl Lagerfeld, who helms fashion houses Chanel and Fendi? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Actual Attendance Numbers Will Be Up For Debate
The president-elect says his inauguration will have “an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout” and told Fox & Friends’s Ainsley Earhardt, “We’re going to have a tremendous turnout. From what I’m hearing, the numbers are going to be astronomical.” To give you an idea of what “astronomical” numbers look like, 1.2 million people attended Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 inauguration and 1.8 million people attended Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
The District of Columbia’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management expects 900,000 people at most to turn out for Trump. Destination D.C., the city’s tourism board, predicts that at least one million people will be in the city for the inauguration—but that estimate doesn’t explicitly exclude protestors.
The Biggest Protest of the Weekend Will Take Place on January 21
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, tens of thousands of people are expected to flood the city for the Women’s March on Washington. Celebrities expected to march include Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, America Ferrera and Padma Lakshmi. Predicting the exact number of people who will actually show up is hard, but 300 sister protests are planned in all 50 states, and even in other countries, making this one of the largest protest movements in American history. The National Parks Service issued 22 protest permits for inauguration weekend. Each permit accommodates up to 200,000 people.
Protestors Will Be Up to Some Interesting Antics
One woman protesting for LGBTQ rights says she’ll throw glitter and hand out rainbow flags along the Inaugural Parade route. D.C. Cannabis Coalition has also been rolling 4,200 joints to hand out during the inaugural ceremony, to be lit four minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech.
Trump’s Inauguration Will Be a Costly One
Coming in at $200 million, at least half of the event’s budget will be spent on security. One hundred square blocks will be shut down and 28,000 people, from the Secret Service down to local police, will be on deck to secure the city. The government only covers about $1 million dollars in expenses for the event; Trump’s team fundraised the rest.
A Bunch of Biker Gangs Are Also Throwing a Party
The inauguration itself won’t be the only thing happening that weekend: Trump will have inauguration balls to attend that evening, one of which is a traditional military ball. After that, he’ll attend a series of state dinners and finally, a national prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on January 21. Turns out, there’s also a huge contingent of pro-Trump bikers —some from rival gangs—planning to hold rallies in his honor throughout the weekend.