2016’s Fourth of July Festivities at Monticello

July 4th is less than a month away, and you may already have an idea of how you want to spend this patriotic holiday—an outdoor BBQ with friends and family, a bit of swimming, a few outdoor games, and then of course, fireworks. However, why not do something unique this year that includes both a beautifully historic Virginia location as well as a special annual naturalization ceremony. This year is the 54th Annual Independence Day and Naturalization Ceremony, where 75 individuals will take the final steps to becoming American citizens: “There is no more inspirational place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at [Monticello]. It is the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony in the United States outside of a courtroom.” (Monticello.org). The 2016 ceremony will present Dr. Larry J. Sabato as the featured speaker. Dr. Sabato, the founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is an author and editor as well as a two-time Emmy winner for his documentaries “The Kennedy Half-Century” and “Out of Order.” (That’s right; you’ll get to hear an Emmy winner speak at the ceremony!) Fast Facts: –          The ceremony starts is from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on Monticello’s West Lawn. There is parking at Piedmont Virginia Community College, and then a shuttle that will drive you to Monticello. –          Tickets are free but must be reserved. (Space fills up quickly, so be sure to grab your tickets now. –          Dress for hot, sunny weather! –          After the ceremony, you can enjoy a Jeffersonion Open House Walk-Through Tour of Monticello. Click here for additional information and don’t forget to book your room at the Iris Inn!