Biden’s Inauguration: Expect Smaller Crowds and More Social Distancing

A parade is also in question.

Newly inaugurated presidents have often participated in a slow drive along Pennsylvania Avenue and then watched local marching bands and other floats from the reviewing stand near Lafayette Park. The stand for January is ready, but hosting a parade would invite large crowds to gather along the route, something that Mr. Biden is likely to want to avoid.

A scaled-back celebration could also be cheaper to put on because of fewer security and travel costs, though Mr. Demissie said that producing video and broadcasting from remote locations for a more virtual inauguration would also be costly.

There were signs on Monday that though Mr. Biden may not be trying to top his predecessor, who raised a record $107 million for his 2017 festivities, he would welcome donations from wealthy individuals and corporations.

Mr. Biden’s team indicated that it would accept donations of up to $500,000 from individuals and up to $1 million from corporations, according to an official involved in the planning. The cap is set by each president and has fluctuated over the years, as incoming executives have used the inauguration to set the tone for their presidencies. Mr. Obama, for instance, banned corporate gifts altogether in 2009 and capped individual gifts at $50,000 before easing restrictions in 2013. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, accepted $5 million from Sheldon Adelson, the conservative casino mogul.

Mr. Biden’s team has sent something of a mixed message. His inauguration will not accept donations from fossil fuel companies, defined as “companies whose primary business is the extraction, processing, distribution or sale of oil, gas or coal,” or their executives — a group that gave Mr. Trump about $10 million. Nor will Mr. Biden accept funds from registered lobbyists.

But that is a relatively small subset of Washington’s lucrative influence industry, and Mr. Biden’s team indicated that it would still accept some gifts from corporations and trade associations, which typically shower incoming presidents’ inaugurations with cash to promote good will with officials. It remained to be seen whether Mr. Biden would put together the kind of exclusive, V.I.P. packages that typically woo big donors.

He also selected Katie Petrelius, the national finance director who oversaw an effort that raised record sums for his campaign, to serve in a similar role as the top fund-raiser for his inauguration, according to a person familiar with the appointment.

Eric Lipton and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.