Performers for Bush's big week; government employee's work week

Thursday, January 13th 2005, 11:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former ``Frazier'' star Kelsey Grammar, teen idol Hillary Duff, singer Gloria Estefan and 2003 ``American Idol'' winner Ruben Studdard are among the headline entertainers for President Bush's inauguration.

From a youth concert to festivities on the National Mall to the nine official inaugural balls, the Presidential Inaugural Committee selected several actors, musicians and celebrities to entertain the thousands expected to attend. The committee released its list Thursday.

For the ``America's Future Rocks Today'' concert on Tuesday, pop singers JoJo and Duff will perform along with Studdard, the bands 3 Doors Down and Boxkar and former football player Jason Sehorn, who with his wife, actress Angie Harmon, spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Bush twins Jenna and Barbara are expected to attend the concert.

The Gatlin Brothers, the Temptations and Kristin Chenoweth, who starred in the Broadway production of ``Wicked,'' as well as the Radio City Rockettes, will entertain at ``A Celebration of Freedom'' on Wednesday.

Performers at the nine inaugural balls, ranging from the free commander in chief ball for troops and their families to the $150-per-ticket parties, vary from the Guy Lombardo Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra to Beatlemania Live, comedian Ben Stein and the Will Gravitt Band.


Being a federal employee in Washington during inauguration week means a shortened work week.

All are getting a paid holiday on Martin Luther King's birthday on Monday and the day of the inauguration on Thursday. Now the Office of Personnel Management is telling agency heads they may want to give some employees a break the day before the big event.

In a memo to federal agency heads, OPM Director Kay Coles James asked them to encourage downtown employees to telework, take annual leave or use credit hours on Jan. 19. Employees also could get an excused absence, which would not be charged to their personal leave.

OPM spokesman Mike Orenstein said he anticipates the new directive would apply mostly to employees in downtown offices and not to those in suburban Virginia and Maryland.

No word on how much the added time off may cost the government, but OPM has said the inauguration day holiday will cost taxpayers about $66 million.

Federal officials plan to close 100 square blocks in downtown Washington to vehicles Jan. 20 and restrict traffic on many downtown streets.