At 8:00 a.m. on April 19, the public opening will begin with a reflective and reverential tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Washington Square. The tribute will include a Native American blessing, a spiritual by the choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, and an interfaith prayer by leaders of over a dozen historic and modern congregations of Philadelphia. The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) will place a wreath at the Tomb, offering military honors to the fallen soldiers of the Revolution. Speakers and other participants will then process up 6th Street to Independence Mall, led by The Old Guard and color guards representing the original colonies, including Philadelphia’s First City Troop.
Grand Opening – Wednesday, April 19
The Museum’s grand opening festivities will begin on Wednesday, April 19, the 242nd anniversary of the ‘shot heard round the world’ that ignited the Revolutionary War. The opening events will begin at 8 a.m. with a program that stretches from Washington Square to Independence Hall, and culminates on the plaza in front of the Museum, highlighting the rich Revolutionary history of Philadelphia and engaging as many people as possible.
Tickets are required for the ceremony as space is limited. Opening ceremony tickets, which will include access to the Museum, were available through an enter-to-win contest that ran from April 3-14.
General admission tickets to the Museum on opening day (not including the opening ceremony) are available for purchase now or by calling 267.579.3596. The Museum will be open for extended hours on opening day.
Schedule of Events
|8:00 am||Washington Square Park – 7th and Walnut Streets||Free and Open to the Public|
|9:00 am||Independence Hall – 6th and Chestnut Streets||Free and Open to the Public|
|10:30 am||Museum of the American Revolution – 3rd and Chestnut Streets||Seated Ticketed Event|
Washington Square Park
The program will continue at 9:00 a.m. with pageantry and patriotic fanfare in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center, including remarks by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park Service Cynthia MacLeod, as well as a Revolutionary War tactical demonstration by The Commander-in-Chief's Guard from 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and a Revolutionary War musical performance by The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. NBC-10 news anchor Vai Sikahema will emcee the program.
Also outside Independence Hall, more than 250 local students from St. Mary’s Interparochial School will create a “living flag” featuring George Washington’s Standard, a flag now in the Museum’s collection that marked the Commander in Chief’s presence on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War. At the conclusion of this portion of the ceremony, participants will continue their procession down Chestnut Street to the new Museum for the official dedication and ribbon-cutting.
The official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Museum’s outdoor plaza. Vice President Joe Biden, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, and best-selling author, journalist, and political commentator Cokie Roberts will all speak at the grand opening ceremony. The ceremony also will include addresses by Dr. Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University; Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO, and a Museum Board Member; and Colonel John E. Bircher III, representing the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Also speaking will be Founding Museum Chairman Emeritus H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest; current Museum Chairman General John P. Jumper; and Museum President and CEO Michael Quinn.
Musical guests will include the Philadelphia Boys Choir and a brass quintet from the Curtis Institute of Music. Sydney James Harcourt from the original cast of the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton” will perform songs from the show.
How to Watch
Following the opening ceremony, the Museum will offer four days of festivities (April 20-23). Visitors will be treated to special programming including music, costumed interpreters, and family-friendly activities each day.
General admission tickets are $19 for adults; $17 for students, active or retired military, and AAA and AARP members with ID; and $12 for children ages 6 and up. Children ages 5 and under are free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days. Group tickets for parties of 15 or more are currently available for a discounted price by calling 267.858.3308. Memberships are also available for purchase or by calling 215.253.6731.