As President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration unfolds in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, supporters in his hometown of Scranton have a lot planned to mark the occasion.
The public is invited to a series of online events leading up to the “historic, momentous” day, said Sam Maloney, a city resident involved with the Scranton Inaugural Celebration.
“How often is a president born in Scranton?” Maloney asked.
Marywood University students designed and built a replica of the inaugural podium that will be on display until Thursday at the Lackawanna County Children’s Library in Scranton. The podium is accessible from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Sunday and Monday when the library is closed.
Children have already been taking photos with it, said Scranton Public Library CEO Scott Thomas.
“We are proud to be able to participate,” Thomas said. “Politics don’t enter into this at all. It could’ve been a Republican President from the city of Scranton. It’s something for us as a community to take pride in.”
Visitors stopping by the library can also leave donations of nonperishable food, hats and gloves for Friends of the Poor.
Both Scranton and Oakland, California — the birthplace of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — will raise a flag Tuesday that was created through a collaboration with artists in both cities.
Local artist Ryan Hnat teamed up with Favianna Rodriguez in Oakland for the project. The flag depicts two hands coming together for a handshake with the United States in the background. The left side says Oakland; the right, Scranton.
The flag represents this period in time where there’s a lot of division and hopefully reunites people across the country, reminding them “that we’re all together in this,” Hnat said.
At 2 p.m., Tuesday, a prerecorded panel from Marywood University, “From Scranton to the White House: Scranton Inaugurates Joe Biden,” will feature Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and his wife Gisele Fetterman, Sen. Bob Casey and his wife Terese Casey, Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, Democratic National Committee Deputy National Finance Chairwoman Virginia Doherty McGregor, Scranton Human Resources Director Amber Viola with Pennsylvania Vets for Biden and Marywood Student Government Association President Alexis Palys.
Then, at 5:30 p.m., city landmarks will be illuminated as church bells ring to remember the lives lost from COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to participate at home.
Also Tuesday, Cathaoirleach Seamus Weir, of Scranton’s sister city, Ballina, Ireland, will virtually attend a Scranton City Council meeting. On Wednesday, Cognetti will virtually join Ballina’s municipal council meeting.
People can livestream the inauguration at bideninaugural.org and post on social media using #ScrantonInauguralCelebration and #Inauguration2021.
The Scranton Inaugural Celebration Facebook page will have its own content on Inauguration Day. Check the page for updates and more information.
Brooke joined the Wyoming County Press Examiner staff as a reporter in December 2018 after graduating from Marywood University. She covers county commissioners, borough councils, township supervisors and school boards in addition to writing lifestyle and business stories. Contact her at 570-836-2123, ext. 36, or firstname.lastname@example.org.