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High school flag twirlers will represent N.J. in Biden’s virtual inaugural parade

NJ.com logo NJ.com 1/18/2021 Jonathan D. Salant, nj.com

The Teaneck High School Flag Twirlers will represent New Jersey in Wednesday’s virtual inaugural parade, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Monday.

As the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the traditional parade to the White House from the Capitol after Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. president, the event will be held virtually from the 56 states and territories.

Besides bands, drill teams, color guards and performers from around the country, those scheduled to appear include comedian Jon Stewart, singer Andra Day and Olympic athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix, and Katie Ledecky.

“As a nation, we are strengthened by our respect for one another. By lifting up voices from all walks of life, in every corner of our country, we want the first moments of the Biden-Harris Administration to be a celebration of an inclusive, resilient united America,” said Tony Allen, chief executive of the Presidential Inaugural Committee and president of Delaware State University.

It is modeled after the roll call of the states conducted during the Democratic National Convention in August, which also was mostly virtual due to the pandemic.

Then, Gov. Phil Murphy stood in front of Convention Hall on the Asbury Park boardwalk and cast the state’s delegate votes “in memory of all those we have lost, in solidarity with those who are sick or struggling, and in eternal gratitude to our historic frontline workers.” He was joined by first lady Tammy Murphy and state Democratic leaders John Currie and Peg Schaffer.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive a presidential escort for the final block of the traditional parade route with representatives of every branch of the military and the drumlines of Biden’s and Harris’ alma maters, the University of Delaware and Howard University.

The parade is scheduled to kick off at 3:15 p.m. and can be viewed at https://bidenInaugural.org/watch and several social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch, as well as several streaming services.

Separately, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker will participate on Tuesday in a virtual event to honor the Black community, along with newly elected U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, several bands from from historically black colleges and universities, and entertainers Leslie Jones, Terrence J, Kim Fields, Tobe Nwigwe and the O’Jays,

That event will begin at 8 p.m. on bideninaugural.org/watch and on several other outlets including Urban One, BET and The Grio TV.

The celebration of the Black community will be sandwiched around two similar gatherings, one paying tribute to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the other one honoring Latinos.

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant.

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