The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Swearing-In Ceremonies

The Swearing-in Ceremonies takes place on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol with the president-elect being sworn-in by 12 noon on January 20. (Read why the Ceremonies are on January 21 this year.)  The Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that the term of the President expires at noon on January 20.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited within the ticketed viewing areas at the U.S. Capitol:

  • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length), including pocket or hand tools, such as the “Leatherman”
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Sticks, poles, or sign supports
  • Packages, backpacks, large bags, suitcases
  • Thermoses or coolers
  • Strollers
  • Umbrellas
  • Laser pointers
  • Signs or posters
  • Animals (other than service animals)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Glass containers
  • Air horns
  • Non-ADA portable chairs
  • Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screeners.

What to Wear

There is no official dress code for the swearing-in ceremonies.

It is typically cold on Inauguration Day—normally 37°F—and often wet.  Expect to be outside for more than three hours, to stand in line, and to walk for long periods of time.  Wear a winter coat. Consider wearing comfortable shoes, gloves, a hat and a scarf, and bringing a blanket.

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Food and Drink

Food, beverages, and other amenities are not available within the Inaugural Ceremonies perimeter. Do not bring any food item larger than a small snack.  Thermoses are prohibited.


Cameras are permitted on the U.S. Capitol grounds.  Tripods, monopods and camera bags, however, are prohibited. 

Cell Phones

Cellular phones are permitted on the U.S. Capitol grounds.  Turn phones off or set to vibrate before the program begins. Extra cell towers have been installed to help mitigate network congestion.