Early estimates back in December suggested that Donald Trump’s inauguration would be attended by around 800,000 people, less than half of the 1.8 million people who attended Obama’s first inauguration (in fact, it’s less than the one million people who attended Obama’s second Inauguration). Trump can subtract at least another 18 people from that number, representing the Congressional leaders who refuse to attend the inauguration (including John Lewis).
However, Trump may not even fetch the 800K originally expected. We won’t know official numbers until we actually see them, but we do know that the main spot for the parking of buses in D.C. for inaugural events is RFK Stadium. There, only 200 charter buses have asked for permits on inauguration day. Compare that to the 1,200 bus permits requested for the Women’s March on January 21st. Right now, it’s possible that the protest march actually outdraws the inauguration. Comparatively speaking, Obama’s first inauguration had 3,000 charter bus permit requests, or 15x more than Trump’s inauguration. Obama also had 10 Inaugural balls compared to the three scheduled for Trump.
However, outside of the inaugural events on Friday, the city could see could see even bigger numbers than 800,000 expected to attend Trump’s inauguration, because some expect that demonstrators will add as much as 750K to the total. Hundreds of thousands of protesters are expected in other cities across the nation on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Trump’s inauguration has booked 3 Doors Down, Toby Keith, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and a Rockette. The Women’s March the next day, however, will be attended by Katy Perry, Cher, Scarlett Johansson, Evan Rachel Wood, Zendaya, Frances McDormand, Constance Wu, Amy Schumer, America Ferrera, Chelsea Handler, Julianne Moore, Olivia Wilde, Debra Messing, Danai Gurira, Patricia Arquette, Padma Lakshmi, and basically the entire cast of Orange is the New Black.
Over 7,500 National Guardsmen and 3,000 police officers from various states will be on hand to provide security. Trump’s inaugural parade is expected to last one hour (shorted from the two-and-a-half hour parade for Obama).