Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president at around noon on Wednesday, kicking off a day of fanfare that will stand in stark contrast to a Washington devoid of crowds and on edge amid heightened security after the insurrection at the Capitol.
The star-studded, largely virtual celebration will begin after Biden and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris’ swearing-in ceremony at the West Front of the Capitol at 11 a.m., where Biden will place his hand on a more-than-100-year-old family Bible held by his wife, Jill Biden, to take the oath of office.
Only about 1,000 socially distanced guests, including former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will attend. Donald Trump will not be present, making him the first president to skip a successor’s inauguration since Andrew Johnson.
Viewers can expect to see Lady Gaga sing the national anthem, a virtual parade in midafternoon involving all the states and territories, and a 90-minute prime-time TV special, “Celebrating America,” hosted by Tom Hanks. Performers throughout the day will include Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and others.