Release Date: Friday, August 19, 2011,
Bill Line, Toni Braxton 202 619-7400; Carol Johnson, 202-245-4700; Sgt. David Schlosser, U.S. Park Police, 202-425-4286
National Park Service Announces logistical details for Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial "Soft Opening" and Dedication
Washington, D.C. - The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the details of the "soft opening" and dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The NPS will oversee a "soft opening" of the Memorial beginning on Monday, August 22, and running through Thursday, August 25th. The Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc. will oversee all dedication events on Sunday, August 28.
The soft opening is open to all visitors, with the NPS providing interpretive services on all four days. The Memorial will be open during the soft opening and dedication as follows:
Monday, August 22 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Tuesday, August 23 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Wednesday, August 24 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Thursday, August 25 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday, August 26 Closed
Saturday, August 27 Closed
Sunday, August 28 Dedication Day; Memorial Closed to general public
The Memorial will officially open on Monday, August 29, and operate daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. During the soft opening, the entrance line will start at the Memorial entrance, located at Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive, SW. The line will stretch westward toward 23rd Street, SW. NPS rangers will be onsite to direct visitors to the Memorial and will be stationed at various locations along the line.
During the soft opening period there will be no vehicle drop off areas near the Memorial. Drop offs are not allowed on Independence Avenue or Ohio Drive. A visitor taxi stand is available at the Lincoln Memorial. The closest Metrorail stations are Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian on the Orange and Blue lines, and Arlington National Cemetery on the Blue Line.
D.C. DAY AT MLK MEMORIAL, TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2011:
District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and other District of Columbia political leaders will greet visitors to the MLK Memorial beginning at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 23. The Memorial will be open to all visitors on this day. The Mayor's staff will be providing visitors free bottled water at booths near the Japanese Stone Lantern on the north side of the Tidal Basin, and on the north side of Independence Avenue, SW, near the DC War Memorial.
DEDICATION DAY INFORMATION, SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2011:
The official dedication ceremonies for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will begin at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, August 28, 2011. Security entrance points open to ticketed visitors at 6:00 a.m. All ticketed visitors within the Dedication site must be screened and have cleared all security entrance procedures by no later than 10:00 a.m. All visitors must access the MLK Memorial grounds from Entrance Points the United States Park Police and other agencies will establish. All ticketed visitors will be subject to inspection. All ticketed visitors must enter the Memorial site from one of the following Entrance points:
″ Independence Avenue, SW, west of West Basin Drive;
″ Independence Avenue, SW, at Daniel French Drive;
″ Ohio Drive, SW, south of the Ericsson Statue;
″ Ohio Drive, SW, at West Basin Drive.
No tickets are required for the ball fields immediately west of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. This area will have viewing screens, sound systems, restrooms and food service. Visitors without tickets will be unable to visit the Memorial during the Dedication on Sunday, August 28.
SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE, SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2011:
A complimentary Shuttle Bus Service has been established to transport visitors (both ticketed and non-ticketed) from RFK Stadium to the Memorial event site and back to RFK Stadium from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 28. All visitors are encouraged to utilize mass transit or the complimentary shuttle bus service from RFK Stadium. Handicapped parking is available at RFK Stadium (visit www.dedicatethedream.org or call 1-888-484-3373 for additional information).
SAFETY CONCERNS AND ACCOMODATIONS:
As with all events, safety and security are and remain the NPS' top priorities. The NPS asks visitors to adhere to the following guidelines to help everyone stay safe: bring plenty of water for hydration, dress in weather-appropriate summer attire, such as light-colored and loose-fitting clothing and use sunscreen.
Due to safety concerns and crowds, no alcohol (including possession and/or consumption), or glass bottles are permitted on NPS property, as well as no grills are allowed. The NPS will be partnering with the D.C. Fire & Emergency Management Services (EMS) as well as EMS volunteers to provide immediate emergency care.
Portable restrooms, along with MLK Memorial Visitor Center restrooms, will be available all four days of the "soft opening." 20% of the portable restrooms will be ADA accessible. Due to parking restrictions and street closures, Tourmobile will not operate on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28.
The NPS and United States Park Police (USPP) will allow guide dogs into the Dedication site for the visually impaired. Due to the large number of visitors expected, pets and animals are not allowed.
Following is a list of prohibited items for the Dedication ceremony. This list may not be inclusive.
″ Firearms of any kind
″ Weapons of any kind
″ Hazardous materials, including chemical, biological and radiological chemicals
″ Produce, (no whole fruit; fruit must be cut into sections)
″ Biological materials
″ Aerosol containers
″ Knives of any kind
″ Soda cans
″ Toy guns, toy weapons
″ Baseballs, softballs, Frisbees, etc.
″ Duffel bags
″ Pepper spray/mace
″ Razor blades
″ Chairs of any kind
″ Leatherman brand tools (or similar)
″ Animals (except guide dogs)
″ Screwdrivers (or similar)
″ Laser pointers
″ Glass bottles
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2011 CLOSURES
″ The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial will be closed all day Saturday, August 27.
″ Tourmobile will not operate on Saturday, August 27.
″ Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, West Potomac Park, between the John Ericsson Memorial and Inlet Bridge, will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, including bicycles and pedicabs.
″ West Potomac Park will reopen to pedestrians only between 7:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 27th. All of these closed areas will be marked by fencing and signage.
Beginning at 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., the following road closures will go into effect:
″ 17th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW;
″ 15th Street, NW between Maine Avenue, SW and Independence Avenue, SW;
″ Eastbound Memorial Bridge at 23rd Street, NW (traffic will be rerouted to ramp to northbound Ohio Drive, SW;
″ Southbound Rock Creek Parkway at Old Constitution Avenue Turnaround (all traffic to Parkway Drive, NW). No traffic to Ohio Drive, NW;
″ Parkway Drive, NW at Ohio Drive, NW ( all traffic to northbound Rock Creek Parkway);
″ Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Ohio Drive, NW.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2011 CLOSURES
″ The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial will be closed all day Sunday, August 28.
″ Tourmobile will not operate on Sunday, August 28.
″ Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, August 28, West Potomac Park, between the John Ericsson Memorial and Inlet Bridge, will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, including bicycles and pedicabs.
″ West Potomac Park will reopen to pedestrians only at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 28.
″ East Potomac Park will be closed at 1201 a.m. to vehicular traffic and will re-open to vehicular traffic at 10:00 p.m.
″ The East Potomac tennis facility will be closed all day.
″ Tidal Basin paddle boats will not operate.
DEDICATION DAY ROAD CLOSURES:
At 12:01 a.m., Sunday, August 28, West Potomac Park will be closed to all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The following street closures will begin at the same time:
″ 23rd Street, SW and Independence Avenue, SW,
″ Inlet Bridge, SW (Inlet Bridge carries Ohio Drive, SW over the Potomac River inlet to the Tidal Basin); both of these first two road closures will remain in effect including no vehicles and no bicycles into West Potomac Park until 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 29, 2011;
″ Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia side of the Potomac River including the Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District. Arlington National Cemetery will remain open. The ramp from north bound Rte. 110 will remain open and vehicles will be able to turn left at Memorial Drive to access Arlington National Cemetery.
″ Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue, NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps;
″ Parkway Drive From Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle;
″ Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive, NW and Daniel French Drive, SW;
″ 23rd Street, NW (north of the Lincoln Memorial) from Constitution Avenue, NW to Memorial Circle;
″ The ramp from the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue, NW and the Independence Avenue ramp from the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Ohio Drive, SW; All inbound traffic on I-66 eastbound into the District of Columbia will be directed to the "E" Street Expressway;
″ Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 14th Street, NW;
″ 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd Streets, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and C Street, NW;
″ 18th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Virginia Avenue, NW;
″ Virginia Avenue, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and 18th Street, NW;
″ 17th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Independence Avenue, SW;
″ C and D Streets, NW from 17th to 18th Streets, NW;
″ 15th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW;
″ Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW to Maine Avenue, SW;
″ Independence Avenue, SW west of 14th Street, SW to 23rd Street, SW, including the merge with Rock Creek Parkway;
″ West Basin Drive, SW from Ohio Drive, SW to Independence Avenue, SW;
″ Ohio Drive, SW from Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue, SW;
″ Ohio Drive, SW from Maine Avenue, SW to include East Basin Drive, SW, with no traffic allowed into East Potomac Park;
″ The ramp from northbound I-395 (a.k.a. the Case Bridge) to Buckeye Drive, SW, with no traffic allowed into East Potomac Park;
″ The ramp from south bound I-395 (a.k.a. the Case Bridge) to Ohio Drive, SW, with no traffic allowed into East Potomac Park;
Virginia Road Closures as of 12:01 a.m. Sunday, August 28, 2011:
″ Ramp from the south bound George Washington Memorial Parkway to Memorial Bridge Circle; traffic will be rerouted to the U.S. Rte. 50 Bypass;
″ Ramp from north bound George Washington Memorial Parkway to Memorial Bridge; traffic will continue north bound on the George Washington Memorial Parkway;
″ Northbound Rte. 27 at the split to Memorial Bridge and Rte. 50 Bypass; all traffic will be sent to the Rte. 50 Bypass.
The NPS concessioner, Guest Services, Inc. will have food, water, and refreshments available for purchase at concession stands located at select locations throughout West Potomac Park.
Beginning Monday, August 29 and thereafter, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will open to the public daily at 9:00 a.m.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND UPDATES:
For additional information and updates about MLK Dedication activities, please visit www.mlkmemorial.org or www.dedicatethedream.org or call 1-888-484-3373. Visitors may also visit www.nps.gov/nama or call 202-747-4367. Visitors may also tune in to the National Mall and Memorial Parks, radio station AM 1670 for updates on transportation, contact information, and helpful guidelines for visiting the MLK Memorial.
Last updated: April 10, 2015