President-elect Donald Trump is doing things much differently than President Barack Obama for his inauguration. The president-elect will only hold three balls to celebrate taking office, while Obama held 10 in 2009.
“The 2017 inaugural celebrations will reflect President-elect Trump's eagerness to get to work in order to make our country safer and stronger,” Presidential Inauguration Committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement, reports the Daily Mail.
The balls held for Obama in 2009 included one commemorating his home state, Hawaii, and one for first lady Michelle Obama's home state, Illinois. Regional-themed balls honored the Midwest, the East, the South and the Mid-Atlantic, and a youth ball was held for his younger supporters. Obama had only two official balls for his 2013 inauguration.
A document released by Trump’s inauguration committee stated there would be “two inaugural balls and a ball saluting our armed forces and first responders.”
Events will begin on Jan. 17, with the official program commencing on Jan. 19 and the inauguration taking place Jan. 20.
Official proceedings will begin with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery Jan. 19, which will be attended by Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
This will be followed by a "Make American Great Again Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. This is being advertised as a concert, but original plans leaked to the media to have fireworks at the event appear to have been dropped.
Teen singer Jackie Evancho is the only performer confirmed so far. She will sing the national anthem at the inauguration. She made a name for herself after finishing among the runners-up in reality show "America’s Got Talent."
The list of performers at Obama’s two inaugurations included pop stars Miley Cyrus, Usher and Katy Perry.
The Trump team seems to be finding it more difficult to secure musicians. Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli was asked by Trump if he wanted to perform following an appearance in New York in mid-December, according to The Daily Beast.
Fans reacted strongly on social media to the suggestion, starting a hashtag #BoycottBocelli and urging the singer to reconsider.
It was announced Dec. 20 that Bocelli would not be performing, with reports conflicting as to whether Trump or Bocelli made the final decision.