What to Know
- If you're attending the ceremony, plan ahead. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers.
- If you're driving in the area, be aware that a number of roads around the National Mall will be closed.
- Tickets are not required to view the ceremony from general standing areas, but all attendees will have to pass through security.
Inauguration weekend is finally here. We've got everything you need to know about navigating one of the biggest events in D.C.
WHAT'S HAPPENING, AND WHEN?
The big events take place on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 19 and 20. There will be a number of pre-inauguration day festivities on Thursday.
1:30 p.m.: "Voices of the People" concert at the JFK Hockey Fields: Performers include the D.C. Fire Department Pipes and Drums, the King's Academy Honor Choir and the Montgomery Area High School Marching Band.
3:30 p.m.: Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery: President-elect Donald Trump will participate in this private event.
4 p.m.: "Make America Great Again!" Welcome Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial: This official kickoff event will include performances by country musician Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down and actor Jon Voight. Trump is scheduled to speak at 5:50 p.m., followed by fireworks at 6 p.m.
11:30 a.m.: Swearing in Ceremony begins: The ceremony will take place on the west side of the Capitol. Gates will open at 6 a.m. and music will start at 9:30 a.m. Performers will include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes. Sixteen-year-old soprano singer Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem.
After the Ceremony: Inaugural Parade: The parade will travel from the Capitol to the White House.
WHERE CAN I WATCH?
Ticket-holders should enter the special viewing areas via the access points that correspond with the color of their tickets. If you don't have a ticket, you will be able to stand on the National Mall west of Fourth Street NW.
HOW MANY ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND?
Experts are expecting no more than 900,000 people at the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade, but it's hard to estimate exact numbers. Here's why it can be tough to get an accurate count and how the crowds will compare to previous ceremonies.
HOW CAN I GET THERE?
If you park at a Metro station, be aware that parking lots will probably fill up quickly.
The Metro will be crowded and there will likely be delays, but Metrorail is extending its hours and peak service time. Trains will be running on Friday from 4 a.m. to midnight, with peak service in effect from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We've suggested some expert tips for navigating the Metro here that include avoiding transfers and buying your tickets in advance.
The Federal Triangle, Mt. Vernon Square, National Archives, Pentagon and Smithsonian stations will be closed.
If you have a ticket for a special viewing area, exit the Metro at the following station that correspond with the color of your ticket:
- Yellow tickets: Union Station and NoMa
- Blue/Red tickets: Judiciary Square and Gallery Place-Chinatown
- Green tickets: Capitol South and Eastern Market
- Orange/Silver tickets: Federal Center SW and L'Enfant Plaza
Metrobus will be changing its routes to accommodate road closures. Here's a breakdown of the alternate routes.
WHICH ROADS WILL BE CLOSED?
In short, a lot. The immediate perimeter around the National Mall will be completely closed, and a larger boundary outside the Mall will be designated as a vehicle restricted area. Here's a map and a breakdown of all roads that will be closed.
Many road closures begin Thursday.
The best bet for drivers? Avoid the area entirely.
IS IT FREE TO ATTEND? DO I NEED TICKETS?
Tickets are not required for viewing the festivities from the Mall west of Fourth Street NW.
Tickets are only required for special viewing areas located east of Fourth Street NW.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has issued nearly 250,000 color-coded tickets to the ceremony. Tickets were released to members of Congress -- who are considered the hosts of the event -- earlier this month.
Every person headed to a ticketed area needs a ticket, including children.
Thinking of buying tickets from another person? Beware of ticket scams.
WILL INAUGURATION BE SAFE?
Everyone will have to pass through a security checkpoint before entering. Firearms, even with a permit, are banned from the event.
In the event of extreme cold, there will be warming stations at the following locations:
- Brent Elementary School, 301 North Carolina Ave. NE
- Eastern Senior High School, 1700 E. Capitol St. NE
- Peabody Elementary School, 425 C St. NE
- Jefferson Middle School, 801 7th St. SW
WHAT'S THE WEATHER GOING TO BE?
Expect to see rain and mild temperatures.
Compact umbrellas, without pointed tips and no longer than 18 inches when collapsed will be allowed along the parade route and on National Mall, but they will not be allowed in the ticketed area on U.S. Capitol property.
Dress in layers and bring a raincoat.
WHAT CAN'T I BRING?
The following items are prohibited:
- Non-service animals
- Backpacks and bags large than 18 inches long, 13 inches wide and 7 inches high
- Glass, thermal, or metal containers
- Laser pointers
- Selfie sticks
- Signs exceeding 20 feet long, 3 feet wide and 1/4 inches high
- Toy guns