Everything to Know About the Biden-Harris Inauguration Special

By | January 13, 2021

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president, and the U.S. will celebrate with a special hosted by Tom Hanks. Originally reported by Variety, the special, titled Celebrating America, is set to be broadcast across several networks, will feature all kinds of celebrity guests, like Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake, and, in all likelihood, will strike a much different tone than much of the news we’ve seen on TV recently.

We already know (because he said so in a tweet) that outgoing president Donald Trump will not make an appearance at the Biden-Harris inauguration, though vice president Mike Pence will reportedly attend. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will also be there to witness Biden’s inauguration. Most of the events will also be virtually focused due to concerns about COVID-19, as well as heightened security in Washington, D.C. after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Here’s everything else you need to know about the Biden-Harris inauguration special.


Where and when will the inauguration special air?

The 90-minute special, Celebrating America, will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET and conclude at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 20. It will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC, and will stream live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and Amazon Prime Video. The special “will highlight the strength of U.S. democracy, the perseverance of the country’s citizens and the ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before.”


Which celebrities will attend and perform at the inauguration?

Tom Hanks has been tapped to host the special, while Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and Ant Clemons are set to perform. Timberlake and Clemons announced via Twitter that they will perform their new song, “Better Days.”


Which politicians will attend the Biden-Harris inauguration?

While Donald Trump has no plans to show up, and former president Jimmy Carter — who is 96 — will stay home due to COVID-19 concerns, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all plan to accompany Biden and Harris to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton also will attend the ceremony at Arlington. Outgoing vice president Mike Pence will attend the swearing-in ceremony.