UPDATED with new information.

The Inauguration of Barack Obama will be held on January 20, 2009. A week of festivities will include the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade and ten inaugural balls and galas honoring the new President of the United States. We have included a very detailed ‘Inauguration 2009′ schedule for you below.

Presidential Inauguration

Presidential Inauguration

UPDATED 1/19/08: Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. After Obama gives his inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.


It seems the Obamas will be serenaded by Beyonce for their very first dance as President and First Lady. She will sing the Etta James standard, and my all time favorite song, ‘At Last’ — a tribute organizers are saying, for America’s first black president. Ok. This will take place at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, which is the first of ten balls the Obamas will attend.


The official theme for the Obama Inauguration 2009 is ‘Renewing America’s Promise.’ The inauguration itself takes place at noon on the steps of the west front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. where Chief Justice John Roberts will oversee the changing of the guard by administering the oath, which traditionally is done on a Bible. It appears The One has elected to use Republican president Abraham Lincoln’s Bible because most Democratic Presidents didn’t own one and if they did, it was primarily for show. Also present will be members of the U.S. armed forces, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, since the president is also Commander-in-Chief.

Senator Joe Biden, the Vice President-elect, will take his oath first, in the same ceremony. The US Marine band will play ‘Hail to the Chief,’ the infantry guard will give a 21-gun salute, and then Obama will make his inaugural address — his first speech to the country as King President.

The United States Congress then will invite Obama and Biden to lunch, after which Obama will parade down from the Capitol to the White House. After all of this, it’s party time.

Here is the current Inauguration 2009 Schedule. Though keep in mind, The One likes to do things over-the-top so these details could change.

Inauguration 2009 Schedule

[Insert Jack Bauer’s voice.] The following events will take place in the nation’s capital between Sunday, January 18th and Wednesday, January 21st:

January 17th — Whistle Stop Tour by Train

Time and Event

10:05 AM President-Elect Obama speaks in Philadelphia before boarding a train to Wilmington, DE, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC. Tickets are required and have already been distributed.

1:00 PM Vice President-Elect Biden boards the inaugural train in Wilmington, Delaware. Before the train departs for Baltimore, there will be a free public event at the Wilmington Train Station, (100 South French Street). Doors open at 9:30 AM for this event.

4:15 PM President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden speak in Baltimore at the War Memorial Plaza (101 N. Gay Street) before continuing on to Washington, DC. Access to the Plaza will start at 1:00 p.m.
Evening Obama and Biden families arrive at Washington’s Union Station by train. No public speaking event has been announced.

January 18th

Time and Event

8:00 AM Gates open to general public for the We Are One Inaugural Celebration. The Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens are open to the public. Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

12:00 Children’s Inaugural Ball Noon-5 PM

2:30 PM We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial: A public celebration, free to the public:

Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

7:00 PM The “We Are One” inaugural celebration will be broadcast on HBO to all cable and satellite subscriber as an open feed — you do not need to subscribe to HBO to watch this special event. It will be broadcast live at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET/PT.

Evening Various inaugural balls held around Washington, DC. They generally take place in the evening; times vary so check each ball’s web site for details.

Maryland Inaugural Ball 7-11 PM
Lincoln 2.0 8-11 PM

January 19th — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Time and Event

Day President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden will participate in service activities to commemorate Dr. King. Evening Concert at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC. Though it is free and open to the public, tickets are required. Information on obtaining tickets is not yet available.

January 20th — Dooms Day Inauguration Day

According to the National Weather Service, a typical Inauguration Day’s normal temperature for the noon hour is about 37°F under a partly cloudy sky with a 10 mph wind. They rate the chances of precipitation at 1 in 6 and the chances of snow at 1 in 20. On the plus side, if it does rain or snow, there is a strong likelihood (a 4 to 1 chance) it will only wet the pavement. For up-to-date weather information, see the Capital Weather Gang blog.

Time and Event

8:00 AM Gates open for ticketed attendees — if you have tickets, it will be wise to arrive very early as crowds will be huge and security heavy.

10:00 AM Preliminary festivities begin, including music by The United States Marine Band, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

11:30 AM If you have tickets to the Inauguration ceremony, you must have passed through security by this time.
Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
Aretha Franklin will sing
Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office
Music composed by John Williams and performed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill.

12:00 Noon As specified by the U.S. Constitution (20th Amendment), ‘presidential terms of office begin and end at 12:00 noon on January 20.’ So Barack Obama will take the oath of office, which is this simple, 35-word, statement:

‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’

12:05 PM (approx) President Barack Obama will give his inaugural address, speaking to the nation and world, for the first time, as President of the United States, followed by:
Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

1:00 PM (approx) Inaugural Luncheon. For details on the menu and invited guests, see the news release.

2:30 PM (approx) Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. If you have tickets, you need to be in your seats by 1:00 PM. There is open seating along Pennsylvania Avenue. For information on how to get to the parade route, for people with and without tickets, see the Inaugural Committee’sparade information page. In the evening there are many inaugural balls held around Washington, DC. Some will be hosted by President Obama, others are just parties for all the Obamabots.

Here are the official balls:

Youth Inaugural Ball – Young Americans aged 18-35
Obama Home States Inaugural Ball – Illinois and Hawaii invited guests
Biden Home States Inaugural Ball – Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests
Eastern Inaugural Ball – CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI invited guests
Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball – MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, and WV invited guests
Midwest Inaugural Ball – KS, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, and MO invited guests
Southern Inaugural Ball – AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX invited guests
Western Inaugural Ball – AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS invited guests
Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, hosted by President Obama (New 1/5)
Washington Convention Center. Low Cost and open to public.
Commander-in-Chief’s Ball, hosted by President Obama and for men and women in uniform only.

Unofficial Balls:

All American Ball
Blue Diamond Ball
Change Has Come Inaugural Gala
“The Dream Come True” Inauguration Gala (7:30 PM EST – 1:30 AM)
Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball
The Hill Ball
Hip Hop Inaugural Ball
Inaugural Purple Ball
Link Live Inaugural Gal
MTV Be the Change Inaugural Ball
People’s Inaugural Ball (7:00 PM)
State Society of Arizona Inaugural Ball
Unity Ball

January 21st

Time and Event

TBD National Prayer Service, led by The Rev. Sharon Watkins, at the National Cathedral. This non-denominational service will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by religious leaders of a variety of faiths.