Is Inauguration Day A Federal Holiday? You Probably Won't Get Off Work
There is increased interest in this year's presidential inauguration, prompting many to wonder if Inauguration Day is a federal holiday. Unfortunately, it's not one of the few federal holidays, which is great for every day life — you'll still be able to go to the post office or the bank on January 20 — but you won't automatically get time off work due to the presidential swearing-in.
There's one notable exception to the rule for those workers who are mostly directly affected by the inaugural festivities. According to the Office of Personnel Management, employees of the federal government in the greater Washington D.C. area are allowed a holiday on January 20 every four years, or January 21 if the inauguration falls on a Sunday. The rule applies to at least 237,100 government employees in the District, plus more in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and Alexandria and Falls Church, Virginia.
Employees should find the vacation day extra helpful this year — D.C. is expecting about 1 million visitors for the inauguration, and possibly as many more protestors for the planned Million Woman March on January 21 (though workers also should not have to worry about that because it falls conveniently on a Saturday this year). Traveling through those crowds to get to work would be miserable, plus the D.C. Metro Police and federal protection agencies won't have to deal with monitoring all those extra people too. It seems like a win win for the D.C. area, and a kind reciprocation for having two million people invade your city for the weekend.
If you're not a federal employee in this geographic area, you're going to have to take some time off if you want to watch the inauguration live (or try to see it in person). However, there will be a serious lack of wow factor this year. Only a handful of artists including Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Radio City Rockettes have been announced as performers at the ceremony, whereas Beyonce sang for Barack Obama's second inauguration. Plus, two of those may not even happen — the Rockette dancers, aided by rapid social media pressuring of their management team, will not be obligated to perform, and the Mormon Choir is being urged by members of the church not to support Donald Trump's inauguration.
If you still want to go and see history in the making (it may well be the last presidential inauguration if Trump's recent threats of nuclear escalation come true), that's still perfectly understandable. Just make sure you're ready for the average high temperature of 43 degrees.