Inauguration Day plans begin in DC, but still many question marks

Workers on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to contest the recent election results, plans are beginning to take shape for Inauguration Day 2021 in D.C. And, of course, the traditional ceremonies will be different from years past due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s too early in the planning process to provide specific details about how the 59th presidential inauguration will look, but, “public safety and health are a priority for the 19 member organizations of the Inauguration Executive Steering Committee,” said the National Park Service’s Mike Litterst.

Litterst said the pandemic will “obviously” affect the planning process, as well as how the park service will go about granting permits based on guidance from the presidential inaugural committee, which has yet to form.

Meanwhile, there are five First Amendment permits, so far, being processed by the park service that request access to federal land around Inauguration Day.

FAQ: What are the current plans for the 2021 inauguration

Among them, a demonstration “demanding urgent action to save the environment and end war” by the Answer Coalition; a 300-person protest by organizers of Roar for Trump; and a 5,000-person request for a “free speech demonstration against the inauguration” by the DC Action Lab.

The group Women for a Great America is requesting access to the White House sidewalk and Lafayette Park for a 250-person event, where they plan to “pray for President Trump.”

And the Memorial Foundation is planning a wreath-laying ceremony for 250 people at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Though associated with a separate holiday, it is within the same time frame and near the National Mall, where crowds are expected.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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