Previous inaugurations sometimes drew over a million spectators to the National Mall in Washington to watch the ceremony, mostly from giant television screens, and cheer the new president as he walked from the US Capitol to the White House.
Inaugural balls and parties in hotel ballrooms and convention halls across the city hosted guests with Champagne and music from A-list stars.
However, this year Biden expects to draw one of the smallest crowds ever following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
What time is the US presidential inauguration?
While proceedings will take place from late morning on Wednesday ET time, this will be an early rise for politics enthusiasts in Australia. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are expected to take their oaths of office about 4am AEDT on Thursday.
After the oaths take place, Biden will give his first address as the 46th president of the United States.
Earlier in the morning, Joe and Jill Biden are expected to arrive at the US Capitol around 3am AEDT, before the program kicks off around 3:15am AEDT.
Senator Roy Blunt, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, will serve as the inauguration’s master of ceremonies. Lady Gaga, who campaigned for Biden throughout 2020, will sing the national anthem, and former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be there with their spouses. Donald Trump will not be there, but outgoing Vice President Mike Pence will reportedly attend Biden’s inauguration ceremony and skip Trump’s departure ceremony at a Maryland military base before leaving on Air Force One for his golf resort in Florida.
Instead of the usual inauguration parade, there will be a virtual event called ‘Parade Across America’, live-streaming from 3:15pm ET on Wednesday, which is actually 7:15am AEDT on Thursday.
Biden won’t be attending the usual inauguration balls in the evening. Instead, a ‘Celebrating America’ TV concert will take place. The 90-minute special will be hosted by Tom Hanks, featuring performances from Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Jon Bon Jovi and more. Biden and Harris are expected to deliver remarks during the televised event. You’ll be able to watch the events live on the official inaugural YouTube.
Where to watch the Biden inauguration in Australia
Major networks, including the ABC, SBS and Channels 7, 9 and 10, will air special coverage focusing on the inauguration.
ABC News Channel’s coverage will start on Wednesday night at 8:30pm AEDT with a ‘Planet America’ special previewing the big day, hosted by John Barron and ‘The Chaser’s’ Chas Licciardello. Special guests include Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton.
On Thursday, an early ‘News Breakfast’ special will begin at 3am AEDT with hosts Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar, followed by more rolling coverage hosted by Ellen Fanning and Stan Grant. It can also be streamed live on ABC iView.
Channel 9′s ‘Special Presentation’ coverage will kick off at 3am AEDT on Thursday, with ‘Today Show’ hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Landgon at the helm. From 5am, the usual ‘Today Show’ will begin before ‘Today Extra’ starts at 9am. All programs can also be streamed live on 9Now.
Channel 7 will also air live inauguration coverage from 3am to 5am with the ‘Sunrise’ breakfast team, followed by ‘Sunrise’ at 5am and ‘The Morning Show’ at 9am. All programs can also be streamed live on 7Plus.
Channel 10′s coverage will actually start even earlier at 1am and air until 8am. The network’s usual morning show, ‘Studio 10’, will air afterwards. Again, streaming live is an option on 10Play.
With files from Reuters
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