93-Year-Old Parade Announcer to Return for Virtual Inaugural Event Wednesday
Charlie Brotman first began announcing parades for President Truman
A longtime parade announcer will be back to announce the event celebrating the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, after he was replaced at then-President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that 93-year-old Charlie Brotman will announce the in-person elements of a parade that will be streamed across the country.
Brotman began announcing inaugural parades in 1949, with the inauguration of President Harry Truman.
According to Washington D.C. station WUSA, Brotman is well known in the capital for his announcing skills, but was "unceremoniously replaced" as the announcer in Trump's parade. While he said he was offered a different role, he declined.
Brotman was replaced as parade announcer by Steve Ray, who had previously volunteered for the Trump campaign.
Brotman did lend his announcing skills to the Women's March on Washington, which coincided with the 2017 inauguration.
At the time, Brotman told The Washington Post that his discouragement at not being asked to announce the presidential parade was quickly replaced by excitement about his involvement in the march.
"Now, I'm all young and excited again," Brotman told The Post. "It's a new day. Instead of talking to a few thousands people, I'm talking to a few million people."
CBS News reported that Biden's will be the 17th inaugural parade Brotman has announced.
As The Post noted, traditional inaugural parades have featured various announcers along the parade route, and one (usually Brotman) announces the parade to the president and is situated across the street from the presidential reviewing stand.
Wednesday's parade included the escort of Biden and Harris from 15th Street to the White House.
Though much of the parade was planned to be virtual, and feature performances taking place in various parts of the country, there will be a few in-person elements, such as a performance by the University of Delaware and Howard University drumlines.
The Parade Across America event is set to take place at 3:15 p.m. ET, and feature "diverse, dynamic performances in communities in all 56 states and territories," according to the inaugural committee.
The parade also aims to "celebrate America's heroes, and highlight the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country."
It is also streaming live on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox and AT&T U-verse and DIRECTIV.