Presidential Inauguration Festivities FAQ

How the inaugural events come together.

What's It All About? - Jan. 21, 2013, will mark the nation's 57th inauguration and President Obama's second. There will be much pomp and circumstance, but less so than in 2009 when more than a million people attended his historic swearing-in as the nation's first African-American president. Compiled from the Associated Press, here are facts on how the inauguration festivities come together. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

1 / 8

What's It All About? - Jan. 21, 2013, will mark the nation's 57th inauguration and President Obama's second. There will be much pomp and circumstance, but less so than in 2009 when more than a million people attended his historic swearing-in as the nation's first African-American president. Compiled from the Associated Press, here are facts on how the inauguration festivities come together. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

What to Expect on Inauguration Day - Traditionally, the president is expected to attend morning worship service before being escorted with the first lady, vice president and spouse to the Capitol building for the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address. Vice President Biden will be sworn in first followed by President Obama. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

2 / 8

Why Is Obama Having Two Swearing-In Ceremonies? - The Constitution mandates that presidents be sworn-in on Jan. 20 at noon. It falls on a Sunday this year, so Obama will take the official oath at the White House and again at a public ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21. It will be the seventh time that an inauguration date has fallen on a Sunday, a day on which courts and other public institutions are closed. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

What Oath Does the President Recite? - "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The oath marks the start of the new administration.  (Photo: Jason Reed /Landov/REUTERS)

3 / 8

What Oath Does the President Recite? - "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The oath marks the start of the new administration. (Photo: Jason Reed /Landov/REUTERS)

Who Will Administer the Oath?  - The Supreme Court's chief justice traditionally plays this role, although there have been about six exceptions. This year, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath to Obama. Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer Vice President Joe Biden's oath.   (Photo: Jason Reed /Landov)

4 / 8

Who Will Administer the Oath?  - The Supreme Court's chief justice traditionally plays this role, although there have been about six exceptions. This year, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath to Obama. Justice Sonia Sotomayor will administer Vice President Joe Biden's oath. (Photo: Jason Reed /Landov)

96f/30/fott/4595/9|x-default

5 / 8

When Was the First Inauguration Parade? - The tradition dates back to the inauguration of George Washington in 1789, but the first organized parade took place during James Madison's inauguration in 1809. African-Americans participated in the event for the first time in 1865 at Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration. Women were allowed to take part for the first time in 1917 at Woodrow Wilson's second inauguration. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

ADVERTISEMENT
/content/dam/betcom/images/2011/11/Fashion-and-Beauty-11-16-11-30/112811-fashion-michelle-obama-inauguration-dress-smithsonian.jpg

6 / 8

How Many Inaugural Balls Are Held? - It varies from president to president. Obama had 10 official balls in 2009 but will hold just two this year in acknowledgement of the still struggling economy. One will be the invitation-only Commander In Chief's Ball, started by former President George W. Bush, which honors military personnel. The second ball is open to the public, but it has already sold out. (Photos: Jim Young/REUTERS)

Who Picks Up the Tab for Official Inauguration Events?  - Supporters and private donors pay for the balls, the parade, giant TV screens on the National Mall for the swearing-in and portable toilets. Public money is used for security, such as Secret Service and Capitol Police services, and for items like bleacher and barricade construction.    (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

7 / 8

Who Picks Up the Tab for Official Inauguration Events?  - Supporters and private donors pay for the balls, the parade, giant TV screens on the National Mall for the swearing-in and portable toilets. Public money is used for security, such as Secret Service and Capitol Police services, and for items like bleacher and barricade construction.   (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

011513-national-presidential-inuguration-FAQ-Inaugural-cermonies-committee.jpg

8 / 8

Who Coordinates the Inaugural Events? - The Presidential Inaugural Committee, whose members are chosen by the president-elect, coordinates the events that do not take place on the Capitol grounds, including the parade and balls. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies handles the public swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol and the luncheon for the president and vice president that follows. The Defense Department's Joint Task Force National Capital Region coordinates military marching bands, color guards, security and medical support. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)