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Monticello Begins Preparing for Independence Day Celebration - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Monticello Begins Preparing for Independence Day Celebration

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Monticello Monticello
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

Even though it's weeks away, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is already gearing up for its Annual Independence Day Celebration and naturalization ceremony. Even though this year marks Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration, there will be a few new twists in store for visitors.

The Fourth of July ceremony will kick off at 9 a.m.

“It is certainly our most important day of the year. Jefferson thought it was more important than his birthday,” said Gary Sandling, VP of visitor programs at Monticello.

Organizers expect over 2,000 people. That number includes 70 people from about 40 different countries who will take the oath to become United States citizens.

“One of the most moving parts is at the end of that ceremony the citizens have an open mic where they can stand up and tell all of us what it means to them to be a United States citizen, which is very moving,” said Sandling.

The keynote speaker is David Rubenstein, a well-known philanthropist who picked up the tab to restore the Washington Monument after an earthquake shut it down. Rubenstein recently donated $10 million to the Monticello Foundation.

Visitors will not only get to watch the naturalization ceremony and listen to a band, but there will also be a free ice cream social. For the first time, Monticello will also have an open house on July 4.

“Monticello will be open from about 10:30 a.m. until about noon for informal walkthroughs of the house,” said Sandling.

Twenty-five members of the Young African Leadership Initiative will also be there to enjoy the holiday experience.

The event is open to the public. If you want to go, all you have to do is show up as early as 7:30 a.m. but no later than 8:30 a.m. on July 4. Extra parking will be available at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

For more information on the Independence Day Celebration at Monticello, click here.

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