Donald Trump’s inauguration: what’s happening and when

Three days of festivities in Washington culminate with oath of office and inaugural address

The presidential reviewing stand outside the White House awaits the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump in Washington DC on Friday. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Donald J Trump will take the oath of office outside the Capitol on Friday, officially becoming the 45th president of the United States. But the ceremony is only the centrepiece of the week's inaugural festivities – and protests.

Exact times of the events are subject to change, but much of the schedule is guided by precedent. Washington DC (Eastern Standard Time) is five hours behind the times in Ireland published below.


The festivities officially kick off on Thursday afternoon, with a wreath-laying ceremony, a concert and an intimate dinner.

8pm (Irish time): Wreath-laying ceremony

Trump will begin his public schedule with an inaugural tradition: laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery to honour the nation's fallen soldiers.


9pm: “Make America Great Again!” welcome celebration

Back across the Potomac river, Trump will deliver brief remarks at a concert outside the Lincoln Memorial kicking off the inaugural events. The concert will be televised nationally and is free to the public in Washington. Performers include Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and more.

12.30am: Candlelight dinner

Trump, vice-president-elect Mike Pence and their families will make an appearance at a candlelight dinner at Washington's Union Station to thank donors at the inauguration.


Inauguration day begins with quiet prayer. It will end with the president dancing his way across the capital.

Early morning: Private family breakfast

If tradition holds, the Trumps and their invited guests will share a private breakfast at Blair House, the president’s guesthouse. They are expected to stay the night there Thursday into Friday.

1.30pm (Irish time): Private prayer service

The president-elect and his family will attend a religious service at St John’s Episcopal Church, just a short walk from Blair House.

2.30pm: Coffee date at the White House

The incoming and departing presidents will meet at the White House with their wives. As is customary, Trump and Obama will then ride together down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.

4.30pm: Swearing-in ceremony

With American officials and other dignitaries gathered on the West Front of the Capitol, the official inauguration ceremony will feature religious leaders with ties to Trump, remarks from Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the chairman of the congressional inaugural committee, and musical performances.

About 5pm: Oath of office and inaugural address

Chief justice John G Roberts will administer the oath of office as Trump rests his hand on two Bibles: one he has owned since childhood and the Lincoln Bible. Trump will then deliver his speech.

Some time after 5pm: the Obamas depart

With Trump installed as president, the Obamas will bid farewell and depart from the East Front of the Capitol.

Early evening: Luncheon

The luncheon, held for government leaders and friends in the Capitol Rotunda, will feature musical performances, an elaborate menu and remarks to honor the new president and vice-president.

After lunch: Review of armed forces

Trump will review the American armed forces from the East Front of the Capitol after lunch.

Thereafter: Inaugural parade

Trump and Pence will lead the parade from the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue, with thousands of military personnel representing each branch. Once he has arrived at the White House, Trump will watch the rest of the parade from a reviewing stand there.

Midnight onwards: Inaugural balls

There will be two official inaugural balls, held on separate floors of the Walter E Washington Convention Center, as well as the Armed Services Ball, which will be held at the National Building Museum. Trump is expected to make remarks and take to the dance floor at all three.


The inauguration schedule ends on Saturday morning, but tens of thousands of marchers have their say before the day is over.

3pm (Irish time): National prayer service

The Washington National Cathedral will host the traditional prayer service for Trump and Pence to begin their terms in prayer and reflection. The service marks the end of the official inaugural schedule.

3pm: The Women’s March on Washington

Expected to be the week’s largest protest action, the march begins with a rally at the base of Capitol Hill. The speaker schedule and the route for the marchers have yet to be announced. The march is set to begin moving at 6.15pm.

New York Times