Itinerary of Obama inauguration events

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States will be heralded – and followed – by a number of official events and festivities. Here is the official inauguration programme.


AFP - A slew of official festivities lead up to the historical inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States:


Saturday, January 17

-- Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and their families travel by train to Washington on a trip evoking president Abraham Lincoln's inaugural run-up to the capital in 1861.

Obama holds an event in Philadelphia, where the US Declaration of Independence was signed and the US Constitution was adopted, before boarding the train.

Biden and his family join Obama in Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware before stopping for an event in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sunday, January 18

-- "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" kicks off official inaugural festivities in Washington. Free and open to the public.

Monday, January 19

-- On Martin Luther King Day, Obama celebrates the African-American civil rights leader by participating in public service activities.

-- "Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future," a free youth concert honouring military families hosted by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Tuesday, January 20

-- Obama attends a morning worship service, a tradition that began with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

-- Obama and President George W. Bush meet at the White House before proceeding together to the US Capitol for the swearing-in ceremonies.

-- 10:00 am (1400 GMT): Festivities begin on the west front of the US Capitol. Events include musical selections by the US Marine Band, children's choruses, Aretha Franklin, composer John Williams with violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the US Navy Band.

-- 11:30 am (1530 GMT): Formal program begins. Conservative pastor Rick Warren gives the invocation. Poet and playwright Elizabeth Alexander reads a poem written for the occasion. Reverend Joseph Lowery gives the benediction.

-- Vice president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

-- Noon (1600 GMT): Obama takes the oath of office using president Abraham Lincoln's inaugural Bible during the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol. He will then give his inaugural address.

-- Obama escorts outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony.

-- Obama, Biden and their families attend a luncheon in the Statuary Hall of the US Capitol along with about 200 guests. The luncheon menu is inspired by the tastes of president Abraham Lincoln.

-- 2:30 pm (1830 GMT): The 56th Inaugural Parade travels down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House with the participation of groups from across the United States.

-- The Presidential Inaugural Committee hosts 10 official inaugural balls.

* The first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, open to Washington residents and the general public. Using interactive technology, the inauguration team will link this ball with other community balls across the nation.

* Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball in honour of US active duty and reserve military. Purple Heart recipients, families of military killed in combat and spouses of deployed military. Closed to the public.

* Youth Inaugural Ball for ages 18 to 35.

* Obama Home States Inaugural Ball with guests invited by Obama's home states of Illinois and Hawaii.

* Biden Home States Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Delaware and Pennsylvania.

* Eastern Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

* Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Wyoming, Washington, DC and Democrats Abroad.

* Midwest Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Missouri.

* Southern Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

* Western Inaugural Ball for guests invited by Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, Guam and American Samoa.

Wednesday, January 21

-- President Obama and Vice President Biden participate in a prayer service.

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