President Obama’s first inaugural festivities stretched over five days. Donald Trump is spending barely three on his. Bill Clinton hit 14 official balls on the day he was sworn in. Trump plans appearances at three. And while other presidents have staged parades that lasted more than four hours, Trump’s trip down Pennsylvania Avenue is expected to clock in at 90 minutes — making it among the shortest on record. In a word, the 45th president’s inaugural activities will be “workmanlike,” said Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, a pop-up staff of about 350 people scrambling to put together the proceedings from the second floor of a nondescript government building just south of the Mall.
The notion of a relatively low-key inaugural bereft of many A-list entertainers may come as a surprise, given the president-elect’s flair for showmanship and his credentials as a reality TV star. Epshteyn said that Trump settled on a less flashy approach, however, including keeping the ticket prices for the inaugural balls at $50 apiece so that working-class Americans who helped fuel Trump’s victory can take part.