Biden Inauguration to Feature Virtual Parade – The Wall Street Journal

Preparations under way last month outside the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden.

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg News

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will include a virtual parade as part of a series of events on Jan. 20 that have been scaled-down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the inaugural committee said Sunday.

After being sworn in on the west side of the Capitol, Mr. Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their spouses will participate in Pass in Review, a military tradition that reflects the peaceful transfer of power and will include every branch of the military, according to the committee. Mr. Biden is expected to review the readiness of the troops and will then be escorted from 15th Street to the White House by members of the military.

With the coronavirus still raging across the country, the inauguration committee will be holding a virtual parade instead of the traditional in-person parade and balls. The planned programming is expected to feature Americans across the country along with musical acts, local bands and poets to pay tribute to front-line workers during the pandemic.

“There are many grand traditions to the inaugural and we plan to honor them by highlighting more of our nation’s people than ever before while keeping everyone safe,” said Tony Allen, chief executive of the inaugural committee, in a statement.

The committee said earlier this week it would host a memorial  on Jan. 19, ahead of the inauguration, to remember those who lost their lives to Covid-19. The memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C., will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

The inaugural committee also has told people not to attend the inaugural activities and hired a chief medical adviser, Dr. David Kessler, to help plan the event based on health safety protocols.

Mr. Biden’s inaugural committee is accepting donations of up to $500,000 from individuals and up to $1 million from corporations to fund the event, but it has said it would ban donations from lobbyists and the oil-and-gas industry.

Donors were informed earlier this month of their planned perks associated with the inauguration.

For instance, if an individual gives $500,000 or bundles $1 million for the inauguration, the person would be invited to virtual events with Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris and their spouses, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The person also would be granted “preferred viewing” for the virtual inauguration, included in a virtual concert during inauguration week, invited to virtual briefings with Biden leadership, and given VIP tickets to a future in-person event.

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Appeared in the January 4, 2021, print edition as ‘Inaugural To Feature A Virtual Parade.’


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