The Presidential Inaugural Opening Celebration 
Lincoln Memorial 
Thursday, January 18, 2001

This program, lasting roughly two hours and twenty minutes, was conducted on a 90' x 50' stage on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and included numerous entertainers and celebrities, a parachute jump by the U.S. Army Golden Knights, a flyover with aircraft from each branch of the armed forces, remarks from President-elect Bush and Vice President-elect Cheney, and a fireworks show:

3:30 p.m. - Pre-show - a live orchestra performance of "America" - begins

Reverend Reed will give the Invocation

Tiffany Ameen performs "Amazing Grace" a capella

Video display - Best Friends Diamond Girls Jazz Choir - displayed on Jumbo Trons

4:00 p.m. - Kim Weston will perform "Lift Every Voice & Sing"

U.S. Navy Band performs two musical selections

Christopher Johnson performs a piano solo of "Stars & Stripes Forever"

Introduction of Special Box Seating - PIC co-chairs Bill & Kathy DeWitt, Mercer & Gabrielle Reynolds, PIC Executive Director Jeanne Johnson Phillips - accompanied by live music by the U.S. Navy Band

Golden Knights parachute drop - involves six Golden Knights, with music by the U.S. Navy Band

S&T Flags, Cordon and AFCG enter and perform to "Trio National Emblem," performed by U.S. Navy Band

U.S. Navy Band performs (music not available at press time)

Herald Trumpets entrance - Opening Ceremonies begin

President-elect and Vice President-elect will be introduced

4:30 p.m. - Sandy Patti will sing the National Anthem

Military fly-by

Brooks and Dunn will sing "Only in America"

George P. Bush, nephew of President-elect George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.

Jon Secada will sing "America the Beautiful"

Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw will perform "I've Finally Found Someone"

The Best Friends Diamond Girls Jazz Choir will perform "Blue Skies"

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. will perform "Up, Up & Away," "One Less Bell to Answer," and "Let the Sun Shine In."

Denyce Graves will perform "American Anthem" 

About 5:00 p.m. -- The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes will perform

Wayne Newton will sing "Coming to America" and "Glory, Glory"

Charlotte Church will sing "Take Care of this House"

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jessica Simpson, Josie Walker, and the Hoover Middle School Chorus, will perform along with the Orchestra, "Let us Love in Peace."

General Colin Powell will give brief remarks

Dara Torres will give brief remarks

Muhammad Ali will arrive

5:30 p.m. - Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney will make remarks

President-elect George W. Bush will make remarks

Ricky Martin will sing "Cup of Life"

The show will end with fireworks, which are scheduled to begin at approximately 5:45 p.m. 

Fireworks.  The ten-minute fireworks display was produced by Fireworks by Grucci, based in Brookhaven, New York; this marks the sixth consecutive inauguration for which the Grucci family has produced the fireworks show.  Fireworks were launched from five locations in the Mall area: the Ellipse (marking the White House); two sites on the Mall adjacent to the Washington Monument; the Jefferson Memorial (for the first time); and a barge on the Potomac (marking the Lincoln Memorial).  The fireworks display was choreographed to music.  Ricky Martin cued the beginning of the show; Martin's last song of the evening started four minutes of display from the Potomac site, followed by six minutes from all five locations.

As to the number of shells, the Grucci company says this is "an irrelevant question."  "It's not the quantity of fireworks that creates a beautiful portrait of fire, but the quality of the shells."  Grucci's signature shell is the "Gold Split-Comet;" a 22-second scene just before the grand finale will use over a hundred of these to create a "Golden Milky Way." Another highlight of program will be a curtain of Roman candles in red, white and blue at the Washington Monument (the units are arranged about 30 feet apart in a half moon at a distance of 220 feet from the monument). 

According to Fireworks by Grucci, it took a team of two producers, five chief pyrotechnicians, and 22 pyrotechnicians six days or 1,320 man hours to set up the fireworks.  The cost was roughly $400,000 and the size of the display will be about four times that of a July 4th celebration in Washington, DC. 

In contrast to past inaugural celebrations, when the shells were loaded and prepared at the individual launch sites, requiring considerable security, this year Grucci did all the preparatory work out on Hains Point, loading everything onto seven flatbed trucks which were driven to the respective locations under escort on the morning of the show. 

George Schlatter, an award-winning producer and director (whose credits include "Laugh In") is directing the opening celebration.