WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will include a "virtual parade across America” consistent with crowd limits during the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers announced on Sunday (Jan 3).
Following the swearing-in ceremony on Inauguration Day on Jan 20 on the west front of the US Capitol, Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, will join Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband in participating in a socially distanced Pass in Review on the Capitol's opposite front side. Those are military traditions where Biden will review the readiness of military troops.
Biden will also receive a traditional presidential escort with representatives from every branch of the military from 15th Street in Washington to the White House.
That, the Presidential Inaugural Committee says, will be socially distanced too, while "providing the American people and world with historic images of the President-elect proceeding to the White House without attracting large crowds".
Workers in recent days began dismantling an inaugural parade reviewing stand in front of the White House as Biden's transition team continues to prepare for festivities that will be mostly virtual.
Organisers also said they will hold a virtual parade nationwide to “celebrate America’s heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country as we begin a new American era".
The parade event will be televised and feature “diverse, dynamic” performances in communities across the country, the inauguration committee promised. Participants will be announced in coming weeks.
“We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities this moment presents to allow all Americans to participate in our country’s sacred inaugural traditions," Presidential Inaugural Committee Executive Director Maju Varghese said in a statement.