Bob Garrett has gone to every presidential inauguration since 1961, when he attended John F. Kennedy’s swearing in as a 2-year-old bundled up in a stroller. His parents thought it was important their son witness history and he’s continued the tradition with his children, racking up 15 consecutive in-person visits to Washington.

But Garrett will break that streak Wednesday when Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States during a global pandemic and amid the prospect of political violence, which have nixed the traditionally large and celebratory gathering on the National Mall. Access is restricted to select VIPs, members of Congress, and the news media, and the streets of Washington have been largely shut down after a pro-Trump mob violently attacked the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

Garrett, who lives in Harrisburg, will instead host a watch party at a church, targeted to homeless people living in the city without a place to watch.

“I’ll be fascinated to hear their perspectives on the inauguration and why isn’t the former president standing beside the incoming,” Garrett said, “the way Nixon stood beside Kennedy to demonstrate a peaceful transfer.”

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It will be an inauguration unlike any in recent memory. President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration was moved to an indoor venue due to cold weather, but people still buzzed about Washington on Jan. 20, 1985 (Garrett was there, too).

Biden supporters in Pennsylvania say the inability to witness history in person hasn’t been a huge damper on a day they’ve been looking forward to for years. This month’s insurrection at the Capitol has them afraid. So do the health risks. And like many Americans living through the last 10 months, they’ve already become experts at turning their living rooms into celebratory spaces. It’s been nearly a year of Zoom birthdays and couch parties. The importance of the day isn’t the spectacle, but what it means for the future, said Anne McKelvey, a hairdresser from Lansdale.

“I’ll just heave a world-shattering sigh of relief when he’s safely ensconced in the White House,” she said.

“I am so ... exhausted,” said Leah Huganir, of Glenmoore. “Also elated to watch President Biden take over. It’s like Superman swooping in to save us with decency and intelligence.”

Huganir is taking the day off from work. She’ll drink mimosas and eat with family “while we sit on the couch and love each other and watch the best of democracy unfold on our TVs.”

Wendy Lenhart, of South Philadelphia, is making her mimosas with saffron — a tribute to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Indian ancestry — and garnishing them with a strawberry, the state fruit of Biden’s Delaware.

Alisa Kraut and her husband, of Mount Airy, made a batch of homemade eggnog for the “in-nog-uration.” She also plans a symbolic removal of her Biden yard sign, which she’s been “too nervous to remove from our front lawn.”

One couple plan to smash a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon won in a tournament at the Trump National Golf Club outside Washington.

Many said they’ll be buying pints of ice cream, one of the president-elect’s favorite treats.

The day before the inauguration in Mount Airy, people stopped to snap photos of a mural known in the neighborhood as the “Blue Wall” and mostly made up of Biden campaign signs.

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Scranton, where Biden spent his early childhood, has been celebrating for days. The Electric City put Biden’s face on digital billboards. Marywood University’s School of Architecture made a life-size replica of the presidential lectern, sitting outside of the Lackawanna County Children’s Library. Parents are posting pictures of their kids behind it with the hashtag #scrappykid. Local restaurants are selling Biden burgers and Kamala cocktail specials.

“We thought it was important to try to find ways to celebrate right now,” said Virginia McGregor, a Democratic fund-raiser who lives on Biden’s old block. “To mark the occasion of a transition and to celebrate a Scranton guy in the White House.”

Bidens inaugural team has encouraged people to stay away from Washington and watch online or on TV instead. It added big-name musical performances (Garth Brooks announced Monday that he’ll sing) and sent boxes to super-fans with life-size cutouts of Biden and Harris, branded champagne flutes, and bags of red, white, and blue confetti.

Pennsylvania’s Boy Scout Troop 358, based in Germantown, will represent the state in a virtual parade (keep an eye out for scouts running up the Rocky steps in a prerecorded video). The troop also marched in both of President Barack Obama’s inauguration parades.

“We wanted to film something that brought the city of Philadelphia as well as Pennsylvania, as well as the Boy Scouts and our church together,” said Brian Wallace, who works with the troop. “To unify the country, inspire people, tell them about hope.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D., Phila.) will be onstage for the swearing-in, though his wife and young daughter, who originally planned to accompany him, will stay home. While Boyle lamented President Donald Trump’s decision to break with tradition and not attend for its impact on national unity, he said it will also make the day feel like a “fresh start.”

“After everything that happened literally at the Capitol, where we will be sitting on Wednesday, it would be a queasy feeling for me personally to see him up on the stand,” Boyle said.

Erin Wilson, a Philadelphia native who helped lead the inauguration committee, will wear her Gritty lanyard, “No Malarkey” lapel pin, and a scarf that retired figure skater and campaign surrogate Michelle Kwan gave her. Wilson will be deputy director of political strategy and outreach for the Biden administration.

“It’s the beginning of the next chapter and it’s exciting to play a small role in a piece of that,” she said.

In a year marked with so much grief and division, it’s also a day of reflection and mixed emotions for many.

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Sherrelle Pritchette will watch the ceremony without her mother and sister, who both died from the coronavirus.

“Relief, that’s something I’m still waiting for,” she said. “I’m still waiting for that feeling to change and the weight to be lifted. ... My mother and sister will be right there in my mind.”

She’s particularly excited to see Harris, the first woman ever elected vice president, to take the oath of office. “This is for women,” Pritchette said. “Just women period, doesn’t matter what color you are. This is history-making.”

Kara Hetrick, a mother of two in Dover, near York, will be watching on her phone while getting an immunotherapy infusion for breast cancer. Her 2020 started with a mastectomy in January and then chemotherapy treatments in March.

“This whole year has been just a very scary year for us and so we’re glad to see that science is coming back and that there’s a plan for COVID,” she said. “There’s a plan for the vaccine. For me, it’s a hopeful day.”

When she gets home, she’ll put on the inauguration for her sons, 8 and 11, and open a bottle of champagne her husband bought on Nov. 7, the day Biden clinched the presidency by winning Pennsylvania.

“I was like, ‘No, no, let’s save it. Let’s just wait until it’s official official,” she recalled telling him then.

» READ MORE: In Harrisburg and Trenton, ‘a collective sigh of relief’ as few pro-Trump loyalists show up following FBI warning

Peter Macoretta, 21, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh who worked on Biden’s campaign, will be watching while learning about urban planning.

“Wednesday means the work I did and that my volunteers did paid off,” he said. “And we’re gonna make the country a little bit better. It’s not gonna be perfect, but it’s never been.”

Garrett, the inauguration super-fan, is president of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. A registered Republican, he wouldn’t say whom he voted for. The point, he said, is it doesn’t matter.

“Inaugurations are a moment in time, but more important, it’s like an American family reunion,” Garrett said. “For just a few moments, can we just put all the partisanship and all the division aside and just take a moment and say, ‘Hey you know what? That piece of paper, the Constitution, still works.’”