Just as Google is a formidable force on the web, the office of the President of the United States is powerful institution on the global stage. However, if you google “presidential inauguration” you will likely find a great deal of unrest, and may wander into a few heated debates. So what will the 58th Presidential Inauguration entail, how much will it cost, who will be there; and who won’t?
The purpose of the presidential inauguration is to peacefully transfer the power from one elected head-of-state to another. The ceremony traditionally includes the outgoing President and his family, the President-elect and his family, all surviving former presidents, and other government officials. Many A-list celebrities have been known to join in the celebration, but this year it will be a bit different. Many celebrities supported Hillary in the 2016 election, so when the time came to hand out tickets to the party, Donald Trump tweeted, “The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” So attendance this year will be different than most past inaugurations.
In addition to A-list celebrities declining to attend, general attendance is projected to be around 800,000 people, a figure significantly less than Obama’s first swearing-in ceremony. The new administration’s “big” headlining artist will be Jackie Evancho, a runner-up from America’s Got Talent. Many artists turned down the prospect of performing at the inauguration, which is usually seen as a honor. Tens of thousands of protesters are also expected to voice their discontent in the streets, this week. America may still be in shock with the news of the presidential-elect, but the show must go on, as they say.
Based on estimates of past celebrations, number 58 is predicted to be in the ballpark of $200 million. Although prices can vary based on weather and attendance. You may be asking, where does the $200 million come from? The hefty bill is split by private donors and taxpayer money, by way of the U.S. Treasury. Some may think that all that money goes toward the glitz of the inaugural ball, or to the performing talent, but the most expensive part of it all is the security. Whether the President-elect is everyone’s favorite or not, it’s a matter of national security that he and his family remain safe. A complex mix of personnel (around 28,000) from three dozen state, local, and federal agencies train and prepare for a full year to make sure everything runs smoothly on the big day. Spending that amount of money while the United States is already deep in debt may not seem like the smartest move, but swearing in a new leader of the country is a very big and special deal.
So tune in to any major broadcast channel, or stream the ceremony online on January 20th, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. to watch history being made.