For Friday’s JFK Ceremony, Expect Tight Security, Downtown Road Closures
Roads are already being closed in preparation for Friday’s Dealey Plaza ceremony that marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Both Dallas police and city officials remain tight-lipped about security plans. Expect a heavy police presence before, during and after Friday’s ceremony.
Here’s what you need to know:
Dealey Plaza will be closed Friday. You basically want to stay away from Dealey Plaza, where about 5,000 people are expected to gather to observe the midday ceremony. A lottery was held to distribute tickets. Most have been handed out to North Texas residents, while others are being given to the media, government officials, civic leaders and members of the President John F. Kennedy Commemorative Foundation. Security will be tight.
The public can watch the ceremony live from three downtown locations: AT&T Plaza at Victory Park/American Airlines Center; Annette Strauss Square; and the JFK Memorial Plaza/Founders Square area, which is one block east of Dealey Plaza.
Expect cold weather: The National Weather Service forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s with a chance for freezing rain. Umbrellas aren't allowed at Dealey Plaza. Regardless of the weather, the ceremony will take place in downtown Dallas. “Texans are tough and a crisp day won’t prevent us from marking this important time in history,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a news release Thursday afternoon.
Lots of road closures
- Main Street between the Triple Underpass and Houston Street is already closed. The right lane of southbound Houston Street between Elm and Commerce Streets is also closed.
- On Thursday night, Main Street was shut down between Houston Street and Market Street.
- At 12:01 a.m. Friday, the portions of Elm and Commerce Streets that are between Riverfront Boulevard and Houston Street will be closed. Houston Street from Elm to Commerce Streets will be closed.
- Other road closures on Friday include: the Interstate 30 and 35E exit ramps to Commerce Street; Houston Street between Ross Avenue and Wood Street; Commerce Street between Houston Street and Market Street; Jackson Street between Houston Street and Market Street; Record Street between Wood Street and Jackson Street and between Ross Avenue and Elm Street; Elm Street between Houston Street and Lamar Street; and the service road from Reunion Boulevard to Commerce Street.
When will the roads reopen?
- The closed portions of Elm Street and Commerce Street should reopen around 4 p.m. Friday.
- Main Street between the Triple Underpass and Houston Street should reopen by 2 p.m. Saturday.
County offices to close Friday
Dallas County government buildings will be closed Friday. That includes the Records, Administration, Old Red and George Allen county offices in downtown. All Dallas County tax offices will be closed Friday, as will the Dallas County elections office.
We will update this post throughout the week.
Learn more about JFK
Read 22 Days in November, KERA's online series that examines the JFK assassination.
KERA is sharing stories and memories in a series called “JFK Voices.” Read those stories and memories here.