Biden-Harris 'Parade Across America' Streams Talent From Across the U.S.

Joe Biden's presidency started Wednesday with a "Parade Across America," which was designed by the Biden-Harris administration to showcase songs and talents from across the country, while everyone is separated due to COVID.

With singing, dancing and a few familiar faces, a joyful parade streamed live on Biden's inauguration website. Not only did it welcome the president to the White House, but it gave a platform to artists around the country.

The inauguration was different from years past, with no crowd of American onlookers. Politicians, wearing masks, attended Biden's swearing in, awkwardly fist bumping, hugging and perhaps lacking distancing guidelines, but crowds of onlookers were forbidden. The National Mall was decorated with flags instead of faces. Once Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris left Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the parade started.

Joe and Jill
First lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden watch the "Parade Across America," in front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

So, to lift the spirits of Americans and to show a united country, Parade Across America was designed to inspire community and showcase talent from all parts of America.

The parade was hosted by a favorite, fictional president: Tony Goldwyn, also known as President Fitzgerald Grant III on Shonda Rhimes' hit show Scandal.

Tony Goldwyn, who played the President on Scandal, hosting an Inaugural Parade makes me giggle 😂

— 𝐭𝐚𝐦⁷ (@dualmyra) January 20, 2021

president fitz opening the virtual parade as he should

— Kristina (@gladiatorswifti) January 20, 2021

The parade featured performers from every state and U.S. territory. It began with two drum lines, one from the University of Delaware and one from Howard University—the alma maters of Biden and Harris—as they escorted the new president and vice president home.

Later, bands from across the country appeared with their own performances. The parade wasn't limited to music, though. Dance numbers, familiar online faces and a list of heroes were celebrated, too.

An anesthesiologist who found fame on TikTok, Dr. Jason Campbell, was featured due to his goal of spreading kindness and joy during such a difficult year in the medical community.

Another name on the heroes list, which was released by the Biden administration via press release, follows in Campbell's kindness footsteps. Jason Zgonc, a 12-year-old trumpet player, was able to play a duet with his musical idol, Ethan Bensdorf of the New York Philharmonic. Zgonc used his talent to entertain essential hospital workers on their breaks throughout the pandemic.

And there was more. The United States Coast Guard Band and the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performed, and even High School Musical filmmaker and choreographer Kenny Ortega choreographed a dance for the parade, too.

Viewers from around the country were impressed and inspired by the event, which premiered toward the end of the inauguration day festivities. Twitter users posted sweet notes about the collection of talents, from inspirational people to wonderful music.

Of course, there were memes about the parade, or about inauguration day in general. A photo of Senator Bernie Sanders wearing cozy mittens made the rounds on Wednesday, and fell into the parade conversation, too.

When you’re waiting for the 3 o’clock parade to start.

— TheMouseAndMore-Adam (@TheMouseAndMore) January 20, 2021

Others pointed to the oddity that was a parade with no audience. During a non-COVID year, there would be thousands of cheering bystanders. Some who commented on the emptiness of the parade were vocally opposed to Biden's leadership.

Washington had an inauguration parade today.......nobody came. I was a quiet event.

— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) January 20, 2021

A parade with no people watching. This is pathetic, spooky, and weird. What the hell is going on. Tonight ⁦

— Greg Kelly (@gregkellyusa) January 20, 2021

Watching the #Inauguration2021 parade. God it's so grim that theres no one there & its militarized to the teeth.
So dystopian.
That's Trump's legacy.

— Sian Jasper (@SianJasper) January 20, 2021

A @CNN reporter just said on National TV THAT SHE FEELS THE EXCITEMENT LIKE A NORMAL PARADE and the camera pans to no one in the background. Can’t make this up

— John Sipe (@SipeJohn) January 20, 2021

I hope Green Day is at the inauguration and they start playing Boulevard of Broken Dreams as Biden finishes his speech and the song continues as he walks by himself down the empty parade route to the White House. Probably won't happen because nothing ever goes my way

— Brooks Otterlake (@i_zzzzzz) January 18, 2021

Many also showed respect for what the parade represents. Wishes for safety and prosperity were found online, and some admitted to being fearful for the safety of the new leaders. As Biden and family stepped out of their car to walk some of the parade route, Twitter users issued notes of concern after violent riots by supporters of former President Trump took over the Capitol on January 6.

Truly incredible watching @SecretService agents working just continually scanning in every direction as the presidential motorcade comes to a stop during the parade.

— Tiffany Alaniz (@TiffanyAlaniz) January 20, 2021

The parade makes me kinda sad, TBH. It looks like they're driving through a war zone.
I still remember watching Barack and Michelle walking down the street waving and it stressed me out, but it was lovely to behold.

— 2021, A New Hope 🇺🇸🥂🎉 (@KarenEDeering) January 20, 2021

I haven’t been this nervous during an Inaugural Parade since Obama’s in 2009

— Sylvia (@SylviaObell) January 20, 2021

Watching the much to take in. Such brave service people. May everyone stay safe.

— Shirley Ng-Benitez (@shirleysillos) January 20, 2021

I just don’t know how to express myself watching the beautiful parade of honor and value for our new president which totally exceeds the devaluation of Trump and what he did to this country I am so grateful #thanks

— William (@Wm_Caine) January 20, 2021

The Bidens out of the car and walking on the inaugural parade route. I confess, I'm nervous

— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) January 20, 2021

I'm always nervous whenever a new president gets out of the Beast to walk a portion of the parade route. Even today. 🙏

— Mae B Someday Soon (@mspoint1106) January 20, 2021

Biden and his family made it safely to the White House after walking some of the parade. After, a digital parade continued to celebrate the talents of Americans everywhere, and to thank heroes who have risked their lives for others during the pandemic.

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