Pomp, ceremony and 'pussyhats': 6 things to look out for at Donald Trump's inauguration extravaganza

By Nadim Nyker
20 January 2017

When a former reality TV star takes the reins of the Land of the Free, you know it's going to be something to behold.

Ending Barack Obama’s eight year tenure, Donald Trump has achieved one of the most controversial victories in history.

After a campaign fraught with scandal, the real estate mogul beat the odds, even getting away with mocking a disabled reporter and brushing off sexual assault as "locker room banter".

But the President-Elect will become Commander-in-Chief on Friday 20 January, in a ceremony you can be sure will have eyes glued to screens all over the world.


A reviewer for Herald Scotland, Damien Love, has some pretty high expectations for D-Day. "The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017, in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president," he wrote in his now-viral review. "It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today's feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead." He concludes, "It's a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we're not careful."

Right. Well, with that being said, here’s our list of things to look out for on this sure-to-be-memorable day:

1. The protests

Since Trump was declared President-Elect, a variety of protests have been planned to march on the streets of Washington during the inauguration. Leading the pack was Bowling for Columbine and Trumpland filmmaker Michael Moore. Thousands joined him for mass protest outside Trump Tower on Thursday evening, including the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Robert de Nero and Alec Baldwin. Moore heralded the event as the beginning of 100 days of resistance.

But this was just the beginning in terms of protests to come.

In one of America’s biggest protests ever, The Guardian reports, over 200 groups of women will come together wearing knitted pink hats (known as 'pussyhats') to protest against Trump. They will represent a variety of progressive issues which include LGBT rights and anti-racism and anti-sexism campaigns.

The mass march is set to take place on 21 January, but protesters are expected to line the streets in Washington from Friday too.


2. A wall of meat

5000 bikers are apparently planning to form a wall between protesters and Trump at the inauguration. Chris Cox, Bikers for Trump group leader, said that “in the event we are needed, we certainly will form a wall of meat.”

Meat = angry-biker-men.

According to Townhall.com, the pro-Trump group will ride to Washington DC and attend the big event.

Scary indeed!

#bikersfortrump are rollin' up steady all day! I'm outta here tomorrow night! Philly for the day and then into the city! Hope to meet y'all!

A photo posted by INAUGURATION COVERAGE!?? (@angie4america_official) on

#bikersfortrump A photo posted by Adv In My blood (@ibar_rider) on

Trump has even given the group a personal shoutout on Twitter.

3. A queer dance party?

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the LGBT community are not friends. Over the years, Pence has that claimed same-sex couples represented “societal collapse”, among other things.

So LGBT group WERK for Peace thought it would be a great idea to host a 'Queer Dance Party' at Mike Pence’s house on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning CAT), as said on their Facebook page.

In their description of the event , the group said: “The homo/transphobic Mike Pence has graciously invited us to shake our booties and bodies in front of/around his house in Chevy Chase.

“We plan on leaving behind [biodegradable] glitter and rainbow paraphinalia that he can NEVER forget. #WeAreQueer #WeAreHere #WeWillDance That's right, get ready to WERK it and tell Daddy Pence: homo/transphobia is not tolerated in our country!”

Will there be another at the inauguration itself? We certainly hope so!

A photo posted by David Mee (@particularbitch) on

4. The swearing (in)

In a ceremony that dates back to the age of George Washington, Trump will take the Oath of Office on the Capitol steps at exactly noon Washington time (that's 7pm tonight in SA). Using two bibles (his own, and the one used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration in 1861) Trump will pledge: “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.”

Mike Pence will take the oath shortly before Trump.

After that, Trump will give his inaugural address. Given his propensity for ruffling features pretty much every time someone gives him a microphone, you can bet we'll be tuned in to this one.


5. Jackie Evancho

Does it start to get better towards the end? To close the ceremony at the Capitol, the blonde haired, blue-eyed 16-year-old will perform a live version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Jackie won America’s hearts at the age of ten, when she placed second on America’s Got Talent in 2010.

Incidentally, she's the most famous performer who's signed on to perform at the inauguration itself. Several big stars flat-out refused.

6. Will Obama stay?

According to politico.com Barack and Michelle Obama will have coffee with Mr and Mrs Trump at the White House on Friday morning. Afterwards, the couples will drive in the same presidential vehicle to the inauguration.

Obama is expected to take his leave on Friday afternoon.

Read more: In pictures: 21 intimate photos of Barack Obama’s time in office

It's customary for the former president to attend the inauguration of his successor, but not compulsory. The Telegraph notes that if Obama opts out, he'll be the first president in 96 years to make such a snub.

If he does attend, when it's all over Barack will fly with his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha on Air Force One for the last time. Their destination? Palm Springs.


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