Where Will You Be for Donald Trump's Inauguration? Arizona Events Planned for Both Critics and Supporters

Where Will You Be for Donald Trump's Inauguration? Arizona Events Planned for Both Critics and Supporters
Women's March Phoenix/Facebook
Whether you love or hate Donald J. Trump, something's going on in Arizona to help you commemorate Friday's inauguration of the incoming 45th U.S. President.

Friday's and Saturday's events — in Arizona, anyway, like in most other states — will be largely marked by protests and demonstrations involving thousands of people who remain outraged and upset after November's election results. (See below for event details.)

Protesters plan to gather on the State Capitol lawn beginning at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday, and expect to stay there most of the day. Trump haters who have to miss that weekday event will want to catch one of many rallies across the state the next day to coincide with Saturday's Women's March on Washington.

Yet Arizona is a Trump state, supported by voters in 11 of its 15 counties. House parties and some small events are planned to celebrate Trump's first official day in office. Naturally, the most enthusiastic supporters found a way to be in Washington, D.C., for a long, festive weekend.

Many other Arizonans on all points of the political spectrum will catch at least part of the TV coverage of the inauguration.

Events begin today at 1 p.m. Arizona time with a wreath-laying ceremony and "Make America Great" celebration.

On Friday, Trump will be sworn in at 9:30 a.m. Arizona time. TV news coverage will run long before that, though, capturing the mood of the country and the traditional ride down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol by both the outgoing and incoming presidents.

Trump will take his oath of office at 10 a.m. Arizona time. More festivities and a parade follow.

Most of Arizona's Congressional delegation will be in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration. Two notable exceptions: Democratic Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ruben Gallego.

In a speech on the House floor last Friday, Grijalva called his boycott of the event an "individual act ... of defiance at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we’re taking in this Congress."

Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, on the other hand, told the news media this week "it's my job" to attend the inauguration.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a fair-weather Trump supporter who criticized the President-elect before endorsing him, flew to D.C. on Wednesday and tweeted a picture of himself with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. State Treasurer Jeff DeWit, the Trump campaign's chief operating officer, is also attending the inauguration.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the long-serving Republican politician ousted from office by Democrat Paul Penzone in November, tweeted that he'll be at the inauguration and will be attending many of its events. Trump once reportedly considered Arpaio for Homeland Security Secretary, but decided instead to hire retired General John Kelly for that post.

Cheryl Pelletier, a member of Scottsdale's Palo Verde Republican Women group, says she's excited to see Trump take office and wished she could be in D.C. this week.

She checked on hotel prices a few months ago when her husband was "certain" Trump would win, she says. But they held off too long — a recent look online showed that rooms had shot up to $800 or more per night. So, she's holding a private party at her home on Friday morning for a couple-dozen friends.

"There are going to be parties all over Arizona," she says.

If you weren't invited to an inauguration house party but want to hang out with like-minded Trump supporters on Friday, Republicans in Sun City have a small TV-watching party planned at a west-side strip mall. The public is welcome to attend — it'll start at 9:30 a.m.

Other pro-Trump events will take place across the state, like one at the Mineshaft, a Yuma bar offering drink specials on Friday: "Come down to The Mineshaft and celebrate another peaceful Transfer of Power Day in our Country. And to Celebrate Making America Great."

Nohl Rosen, a pro-police activist and Trump supporter from Wickenburg, will offer his computer-repair customers a discount on Inauguration Day. He says Trump will be good for small-business owners like him. He's disdainful, to say the least, of Trump protesters: "The crybabies should go out and get themselves a fucking job. The free ride's over."

But Democrats and liberals aren't planning protests because they want a "free ride."

They're seriously concerned about Trump's often mean-spirited remarks about women, Muslims, and minorities, and they're fearful that the policies and he and the GOP-led Congress will unravel the gains made on social-justice issues in recent years.

Jason Odhner, a Phoenix-area nurse and one of the organizers of Friday's march at the Arizona Capitol, says the demonstration is crucial to send a message to Trump and conservative leaders that the public demands tolerance and respect of issues include LGBT and women's rights, abortion rights, humane border enforcement, and many others.

The "Not My President" protesters are expected to be at the Capitol from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (The original gathering spot was at the Carnegie Library in downtown Phoenix, but organizers since changed the location). Several speakers will address the crowd during the event.

"Our goal is to get people to plug in and stay involved in a larger movement," Odhner says.

A Facebook page managed by the group asks demonstrators to be respectful and clean up their garbage.

"There will be no violence or aggression," the protest group page states. "We are bound to run into Trumpets — do not let them bait you. Do not engage. Be relentlessly polite."

Women's March Phoenix/Facebook
Later on Friday night, anti-Trumpers can attend the Safety Pin Nation Vigil planned for 7-9 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street.

The group asks that people RSVP if they plan to attend.

"This Peace Vigil is a way for like-minded individuals to gather together in solidarity, sing songs of peace and healing, and share plans of positive community-based action. This is not a march," the group's website states.

No speakers are planned: "instead, we will all be one collective voice in song," the site states.

Also on Friday, the Arizona Libertarian Party will hold an "Anti-Inaugural Ball" from 6-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix. This one costs $50, and you'll need to register online for it.

"Think fetish prom meets tabling at a gun show," the event's Facebook page states. "Anarchist zine meets neighborhood canvassing ... Strip club meets polling booth ..."

The ball kicks off the Libertarian Party's annual conventional this weekend.

On Saturday, thousands of people are expected to attend the Women's March in Phoenix, planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We'll be gathering at the Senate Lawn at Arizona State Capitol," says an Eventbrite listing for the free event. "We'll have a gathering, march, and rally with speakers and performers, along with tables representing social justice and advocacy organizations."

Click on the following links for details on Women's Marches in other Arizona cities and towns:

Gold Canyon








Besides regular TV coverage, Twitter and PBS have teamed up to live-stream the inaugural events from Washington, D.C.

Whatever you do — be safe, have fun, and let your voice be heard.

(Correction: Trump won 11 of Arizona's counties, not 13
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern