What we thought was the unthinkable only months ago has happened, and Donald Trump is about to become president of the United States.
On Friday January 20th, Trump will take the oath of office and become our 45th U.S. President. After that, though, is when the real festivities begin, among them the inaugural parade. The Presidential Inaugural Committee nominated the participants, and Trump and his VP will get to sit back and enjoy the show from the stands.
The parade participants have already been announced, although the Presidential Inaugural Committee has told reporters that additional participants could be announced in the coming weeks.
But the event isn’t all roses and fanfare. Controversy has surrounded a few of the parade participants, with petitions and aggressive social media campaigns popping up, hoping to dissuade many groups from attending.
Without further ado, here’s the complete (thus far) list of the groups marching, along with a bit of information about them.
1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment – The 1st Calvary is an equestrian military unit stationed in Texas with a history of marching in a number of inaugural parades. Obama’s 2009 inauguration was one of the most recent.
1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard – This military unit is stationed in Kansas, and wears traditional Civil War-era garb. They’re a popular fixture of parades and rodeos in their home state.
Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team – Hailing from Kentucky, this equestrian team was founded to help kids from 10 to 17 get a chance to ride horses who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The organization is currently raising funds to finance their trip to DC.
Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer – A U.S. army platoon from Fort Myer, Virginia. They are known for participating in funerals of those who die in service of their country and who are buried in Arlington National Cemetary.
Cleveland Police Mounted Unit – One of the oldest mounted police units in the US, having participated in Warren G. Harding’s inauguration in 1921. The unit contains seven policemen and seven horses.
Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums – Founded in 2001, this group is composed of both active duty and former police officers and firefighters. They’re running a GoFundMe campaign to support their DC trip.
Columbus North High School Band – Otherwise known as Sound of North, they hail from the same high school that Vice President Mike Pence graduated from in 1977.
Culver Academy Equestrian – A 100+ year-old boarding school in Indiana hosts this equestrian group. They marched in Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration parade in 1913. 80 boys and girls from the school will take part this year.
First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry – Easily one of the oldest groups taking part in the parade, this cavalry troop from Pennsylvania dates all the way back to 1774, and was literally the first cavalry troop arranged to defend the newly-minted USA from the British during the revolutionary war. Their membership has probably changed since then.
Fishburne Military School Army JROTC Caissons Battalion – This group of adolescents from grade 7 to 12 attends a school that’s been around since 1879, but this is the first time they’ve been able to march in an inaugural parade.
Frankfort High School Band – A marching band hailing from a 600-student high school in West Virginia.
Franklin Regional High School Panther Marching Band – Another high school band, this one hailing from Murrysville, Pennsylvania. The group contains 200 members and has the 2003 and 2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on it’s resume.
Indianapolis Metro Police Motorcycle Drill Team – 20 motorcycle cops from Indiana will be making their appearance at the inauguration. The group has participated in six different inaugurations, dating as far back as 1961.
Lil Wranglers – A dance troupe aged 8 to 18 hailing from the town of College Station, Texas. Though they’ve appeared in local parades, this will be their first national performance.
Marist College Band – A college band hailing from Poughkeepsie, New York, this band has had some controversy surrounding their participation in the parade. A petition to have the band drop out of the parade has garnered 2,300 signatures, with signers concerned that “participating in this inauguration will send the message that Marist supports Trump’s values, even if that is not the college’s intention.”
Merced County Sheriff’s Posse – Hailing from Hilmar, California, the Sheriff’s Posse contains 14 horses and their riders. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke made it clear that the group would have marched no matter who had won the presidency.
Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard – This drill team comes from Ann Arbor, Michigan and participated in the last three inauguration parades. Lorenzo Veal, the co-founder of the team had some inspiring words for members of Congress, saying:
‘One of the things we put in our application was that, if a group of officers from different departments can get together for a focused endeavor like this particular drill team, we want to know why Congress can’t get together and focus on some endeavors that will benefit the people.’
That’s probably because the officers aren’t rabid ideologues sticking up for their corporate donors’ interests ahead of what’s good for their communities. But that’s just a wild guess.
Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team – These ladies are an equestrian team from Three Oaks, Michigan, and have 18 horses and riders in their group. They, like many others on this list, are working at getting their funding together to make it over to DC.
Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums – A bagpipe band made up of volunteer firefighters, established in 1985 and based out of Levittown, New York. This is one of three bands from New York attending the inauguration, and one of two from Long Island.
North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association – This group was founded in 1989 in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They’ve made appearances at inauguration parades for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums – This marching band, formed in 1960, is made up of Irish and Irish-American cops from East Moriches, New York. They boast a membership of over 100 men.
Olivet Nazarene University’s Tiger Marching Band – A university marching band hailing from Bourbonnaise, Illinois, the Tigers are around 140 members strong. The university’s president wished to make it clear that the band’s participation in the march does not mean the members or the university are taking a political stance. Like the Marist College Band, an online petition to ask the band to withdraw has gained popularity, approaching 2,000 signatures.
Palmetto Ridge High School Band – From Naples, Florida, this high school marching band is 250 members strong and is running a campaign to pull together funds to send its members to the inauguration.
Russellville High School Band – Yet another high school marching band, this one from Russellville, Arkansas. The same school sent kids to march for Carter and Clinton in 1977 and 1997 respectively. Like many of these groups, they’re still trying to raise enough money for their trip.
Talladega College Band – Talladega College is a historically black school from Alabama. They’re another one of the schools whose participation in the inauguration has attracted controversy on social media. Other historically black schools have publicly declined the same invitation.
Texas State University Strutters – The Strutters are a dance team hailing from San Marcos, Texas, and haven’t participated in an inauguration march since John F. Kennedy’s in 1961. The squad has seen aggressive criticism of their decision to participate in the parade since announcing it on Instagram.
The Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes and Summerall Guards – A band from a military college in Charleston, South Carolina, this band has around 100 members. They’ve marched in inauguration parades for Eisenhower, JFK, and Reagan.
The Freedom Riders – Don’t confuse them with the civil rights activists who rode buses in the deep South to challenge segregation back in 1961. Six women on horseback make up this group, hailing from Kersey, Colorado, and they’ve performed at both Obama and George W. Bush’s inaugurations.
Tupelo High School Band – This marching band from Tupelo, Mississippi, despite the moniker “high school” contains students from the 6th through the 8th grade.
University of Tennessee Marching Band – The University of Tennessee in Knoxville’s marching band, with 300 members, has been at nearly every inauguration since Johnson in 1965. After being told they had performed “too many times” in 2013, the band will be back again this year.
VMI Corps of Cadets – Not a marching band or a dance troupe, but a group of cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. They’ve got an impressive resume of inaugurations, having performed at marches for Taft, Wilson, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, and President Obama.
West Monroe High School Marching Band – The last of the high school bands on our list, these kids come from West Monroe, Louisiana. They performed at Bush’s second inauguration in 2005.
Several more groups national groups will be participating in the march as well. These include, in no particular order, American Veterans, Boy Scouts of America, US Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed American Veterans, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, US Border Patrol Pipes & Drums, Wounded Warrior Project and Kids Overseas.
Featured image: 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment (HCD) via Facebook.