Donald Trump is set to become President on Friday
Here's how to watch that happen
After about two years’ worth of campaigning, a wild election and a tumultuous transition period, this Friday Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.
Trump officially becomes President at noon and will take the oath of office at his inauguration around that time.
It’s a historic moment as a man who has never before served in government ascends to the nation’s highest public office.
Here are a few things to know if you want to watch the festivities that make up the beginning of Trump’s presidency.
What is the inauguration?
The inauguration is the formal transfer of power from one president to the next. On Friday, President Barack Obama will complete his second term in office and cease to be the sitting president, transferring the authority of his office to his elected successor, Trump.
At noon, Trump will become the President and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will become the sitting vice president.
Trump will take the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John Roberts and deliver a speech commemorating the occasion.
And as is tradition, the President and vice president will lead a parade to the White House after their inauguration.
What else is going on this weekend?
The inauguration ceremony is sandwiched amidst days of events, including lavish dinners, the parade and concerts.
Thursday kicks off the first performances organized by Trump’s inaugural committee.
An event billed as “The Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” will be at Lincoln Memorial at 4 p.m. ET and open to the public. Artists including Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and Lee Greenwood are scheduled to perform.
The inaugural committee also announced another pre-inaugural celebration, called “Voices of the People,” which the team said “will feature groups from the hundreds of applications received by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to take part in inaugural festivities.”
After Friday’s official ceremonies, inaugural balls are also part of the week’s traditions. Trump will attend three balls: two inaugural balls and a ball “saluting armed services and first responders.”
Didn’t get an invite to one of the official balls but still want a night on the town? A number of organizations sell tickets to their own balls during inauguration week. Here’s a list of some of them from USA Today.
There are also a number of pro- and anti-Trump rallies scheduled for this weekend; the Department of Homeland Security expects as many as 99 groups to gather this weekend. Organizers from the Women’s March on Washington said they were expecting upwards of 200,000 people for their event.
How do I watch on CNN?
CNN will bring full coverage of the inauguration and all the goings-on in the nation’s capital that weekend, both online and on TV.
Official inauguration coverage on television begins at 5 a.m. ET live from Washington and will continue through the inaugural events. CNN will carry the official ceremonies like the swearing-in, the parade, the inaugural balls and all the official events as well as coverage of protests, executive actions and everything else that happens throughout the weekend.
Television coverage will come on CNN, CNNI and CNN en Español. Live streaming will be available right on CNN’s homepage and apps starting at 6 a.m. ET on Friday.
Additionally, CNN Politics will have a live blog for instant coverage and analysis on Inauguration Day and the women’s march on Saturday.
Can I still get tickets to go to the inauguration?
It depends on how close to the action you want to be. Anybody can go watch for free from the National Mall.
But watching from the West Front of the Capitol Building requires a ticket. The inaugural event itself is a tightly formal affair on Capitol Hill and attendance is managed by a bipartisan team of congressional leaders and the President-elect’s inaugural committee. Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, members of the transition team, family members and other invited guests can attend, with some sitting on the inaugural platform where the President takes the oath office.
Former presidents and their families have also agreed to attend, including former President Bill Clinton and former secretary of state and first lady Hillary Clinton, who Trump defeated in the election.
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, had agreed to attend, but they have both been in the hospital since Saturday. Their eldest son, former President George W. Bush was still going to attend the inauguration, the senior Bush’s spokesman said.
Everyone else has to get tickets from their members of Congress, which are necessarily limited. Members of the House and Senate each receive tickets from the Joint Congressional Committee for the ceremonies. Members of the House and Senate distribute tickets to those who have applied. Competition can be fierce because more people generally apply for tickets than are available.
Exact times and methods for distribution vary from member to member, but less than a week ahead of the inauguration, it is unlikely for anyone new to score tickets to the area closest to the inaugural platform.
What’s the weather forecast look like?
Pack your ponchos – according to the National Weather Service, it’s looking like a high of 47˚ with a 90% chance of rain on Friday.
For those planning on joining the women’s march or looking to do sightseeing, Saturday’s forecast is 56˚ and cloudy.
What about the Women’s March?
The Women’s March on Washington, a protest against Trump, is on Saturday. It is scheduled to begin with a rally at 10 a.m., followed by the march at 1:15 p.m. The group says not only women are invited – anyone who thinks “women’s rights are human rights” is welcome.
The Women’s March starts at the intersection of Independence Avenue SW and Third Street SW. From there, the march will make its way to the area between the Ellipse and the Washington Monument, just south of the White House.
How is the security situation?
Security will be a massive presence in the nation’s capital. Homeland Security estimated about 28,000 personnel from many different agencies would join in for the job.
Where will the Obamas be?
The president and the first lady will attend the swearing-in ceremony, then they have planned to head to Palm Springs.
But soon, they will settle into their new home in a swanky DC neighborhood, not too far from the White House.
Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, an incoming White House member, have also reportedly staked out a home in the same neighborhood.
How have inaugurations gone in the past?
President Andrew Jackson is said to have thrown a wild party and even escaped through a White House window to avoid the chaos. President William Henry Harrison caught pneumonia that led to his early death in office.
The drama is not just limited to Democrats though. Here’s a roundup of fun facts.
What will Trump say?
We don’t know what the speech is yet, and knowing Trump, it could include some improvised moments anyway.
But the oath of office itself is a short, but solemn affair transferring power to the president.
What will Trump eat?
In the morning, he’ll have tea with the Obamas. Then, after taking the oath, Trump will have lunch with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Here’s Trump’s inaugural lunch menu. He has said he’s not a drinker, but it looks like the rest of the attendees will have plenty of California wine.
Who will not be going?
Reps. Barbara Lee and John Lewis, progressive Democrats, announced they would not attend the inauguration. After Lewis said Trump was not a “legitimate” president, Trump attacked the Civil Rights icon for days.
Meanwhile, the number of Democrats boycotting the event snowballed. Here’s a running list of Democrats not attending the inauguration.
How many people will be attending?
It’s always hard to estimate crowd sizes, but many hundreds of thousands could show.