Monticello announced today that approximately 1,000 free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to its July 4 celebration and Naturalization Ceremony beginning Wednesday, July 2. As reported last week that President George W. Bush is slated to participate in the event, taking the place of its original speaker, filmmaker Ken Burns, and taking up space with hordes of security.
The free (a.k.a. first available, since all the tickets to the event are free) tickets will only be distributed to adults ages 18 years and older for the 10am event, but anyone can attend the ceremony, according to the press release. No one can get in without a ticket, which is available at the Monticello Visitor Center building. Of course, retrieving a ticket means giving up your right to bring an umbrella (there’s a 40 percent chance of rain on Friday, folks), bottled or canned beverages and signs of any kind to the event, among other things. (This last bit is especially ironic being that Mr. Jefferson, the house’s original occupant and the third president of this scrappy little nation, was a staunch defender of free speech. But we digress…)
Early bird ticketholders will be shuttled by bus from Piedmont Virginia Community College to Monticello beginning at 6:15am Friday, the morning of the ceremony.
Those interested can nab tickets as early as 7am on Wednesday morning from the Monticello Visiter Center building, located on Route 20 just south of I-64. But if you’re not willing to get up that early, wait a few minutes—soon they’ll be paying you to take them.
A thousand points of lite: Tickets to hear President Bush expound on the rights of citizenship at Monticello’s 46th annual Naturalization Ceremony event will be distributed starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.