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900,000 people to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration

Washington: Around 900,000 people are set to attend Donald Trumps swearing-in ceremony on Friday as America’s 45th President – about half the turnout of President Barack Obamas record-holding 2008 inauguration ceremony.

More than 50 lawmakers have said they will not attend Friday’s ceremonies.

Musicians across the country have denounced the President-elect and his controversial views ever since Trump’s surprise November victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Artists like Elton John, Celine Dion and KISS rejected invitations to take part in Trump’s inaugural festivities. President Barack Obama’s star-studded celebrations had seen the presence of Stevie Wonder and Beyonce.

But while A-listers scorned Inauguration Day, school bands have embraced it. The lineup for Trump’s inaugural parade includes 15 ensembles from college or high school.

The welcome ceremony, which will include musical performances and an appearance from the president-elect, will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern at the Lincoln Memorial. The event will include performances and appearances from Toby Keith, Jon Voight, Jennifer Holliday, the Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, DJ Ravidrums, 3 Doors Down, and the Frontmen of Country, vox.com reported.

The proceedings will be aired on all major news channels, with special all-day inauguration coverage.

The White House will be streaming the inauguration on its website, and several news outlets, have also partnered with YouTube to stream the events.

Trump tweeted that he began drafting the speech three weeks ago. He has been receiving some advice and counsel from advisers Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and campaign speechwriter Stephen Miller, as well as some historians specifically regarding the speech’s length. But incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said the words are fully Trump’s.

Trump told reporters the speech will aim to unite America.

The B-Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute group, backed out from an unofficial inaugural party after outcry; Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday reneged from the main concert event.

Washington will turn into a virtual fortress ahead of Trump’s presidential inauguration as more than a quarter of a million protesters are expected during the Republican’s swearing-in.

Many of those attending will be protesters irate about the New York real estate developer’s demeaning comments about women, immigrants and Muslims, a vow to repeal the sweeping healthcare reform law known as Obamacare and plans to build a wall along the US Mexico border, said abc.net.au.

Outgoing US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said police aim to separate groups to diffuse tensions, similar to last-year’s political conventions.

“The concern is some of these groups are pro-Trump, some of them are con-Trump, and they may not play well together in the same space,” Johnson said on MSNBC on Thursday.

About 28,000 security personnel, kilometers of fencing, roadblocks, street barricades and dump trucks laden with sand will be part of the security cordon around 8 sq km of central Washington.

About 30 groups that organizers claim will draw about 270,000 protesters or Trump backers have received permits for rallies or marches before, during and after the swearing-in. More protests are expected without permits.

A protest group known as Disrupt J20 has vowed to stage demonstrations at each of 12 security checkpoints.

—-IANS