White House

High schools, universities and veterans to join Trump’s inaugural parade

The West Front of the Capitol is seen as work continues on the stand for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Trump will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 20, 2017 as America's 45th president.
The West Front of the Capitol is seen as work continues on the stand for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Trump will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 20, 2017 as America's 45th president. AP

More than 8,000 people representing 40 organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders and veterans groups are expected to participate in the inaugural parade Jan. 20, according to organizers.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee on Friday released an initial list of groups that have accepted invitations to take part in the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following the swearing in of Donald Trump and Mike Pence as president and vice president.

Charlie Brotman, who served as the president's announcer at the inaugural parade from Eisenhower in 1957 to Obama in 2013, reflects on the last 15 inaugural parades and his role in welcoming the new presidents to The White House.

“People from every corner of the country have expressed great interest in President-elect Trump’s inauguration and look forward to continuing a salute to our republic that spans more than two centuries,” committee CEO Sara Armstrong said in a statement.

But some bands are not interested. An Arizona company that organizes trips for bands says inquiries are down by half this year compared with 2009. Published reports indicate the parade will be shortened from previous years, perhaps just an hour or hour and a half long.

In total, inaugural festivities will include five days of traditional events, including several dinners, a concert and three inaugural balls. Trump will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and and attend a welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial Jan. 19. He will attend a national prayer service at Washington’s National Cathedral Jan. 21. The inauguration will carry the message of Trump’s campaign, “Make America Great Again!”

But the celebration will be decidedly be more low key. Trump will attend three balls compared to President Barack Obama’s 10 official inaugural balls in 2009. (Only two official inaugural balls were held in 2013.)

Trump has said he’s not interested in booking big-name celebrities following reports that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli backed out after fans complained. The list of performers is short. Jackie Evancho, of “America’s Got Talent,” is expected to sing the national anthem. The Rockettes will perform. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir accepted an invitation to sing. Other possibilities are Ted Nugent and Kid Rock.

At the Capitol, construction is underway on the 10,000-square-foot platform that Trump will stand on as he takes the oath as the nation’s 45th president. It is expected to hold more than 1,600 people, including Trump’s family and various dignitaries. Former President Jimmy Carter is only former president to accept an invitation so far.

The crowd is estimated to be only 800,000, fewer than half the 1.8 million who attended in 2009. But businesses in Washington expect to do well that weekend. The new five-star Trump International Hotel is sold out. There will be a $1.4 billion impact on the region’s economy, according to a George Mason University study.

Each branch of the United States military will be represented in the parade as well as the following groups, listed below in alphabetical order.

1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment – Fort Hood, Texas

1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color – Ft. Riley, Kansas

Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team – Burlington, Kentucky

Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer – Fort Myer, Virginia

Cleveland Police Mounted Unit – Cleveland, Ohio

Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums – Palm Coast, Florida

Columbus North High School Band – Columbus, Indiana

Culver Academy Equestrian – Culver, Indiana

First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fishburne Military School Army JROTC Caissons Battalion - Fishburne, Virginia

Frankfort High School Band – Ridgeley, West Virginia

Franklin Regional High School Panther Marching Band – Murrysville, Pennsylvania

Indianapolis Metro Police Motorcycle Drill Team – Indianapolis, Indiana

Kids Overseas – Richmond Hill, Georgia

Lil Wranglers – College Station, Texas

Marist College Band – Poughkeepsie, New York

Merced County Sheriff’s Posse – Hilmar, California

Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team – New Buffalo, Michigan

Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums – East Meadow, New York

North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association – Hillsborough, North Carolina

NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums – East Moriches, New York

Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, Illinois

Palmetto Ridge High School Band – Naples, Florida

Russellville High School Band – Russellville, Arkansas

Talladega College Band – Talladega, Alabama

Texas State University Strutters – San Marcos, Texas

The Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes and Summerall Guards – Charleston, South Carolina

The Freedom Riders – Kersey, Colorado

Tragedy Assistance Marching Unit – Arlington, Virginia

Tupelo High School Band – Tupelo, Mississippi

University of Tennessee Marching Band – Knoxville, Tennessee

VMI Corps of Cadets – Lexington, Virginia

West Monroe High School Marching Band – West Monroe, Louisiana

American Veterans - National

Boy Scouts of America - National

US Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations - National

Disabled American Veterans - National

US Border Patrol Pipes & Drums – National

Wounded Warriors - National

More participants and the parade order will be released later. Information about events can be found at the inaugural website, which launched a month before the inauguration.

Rob Hotakainen in Washington contributed.

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