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Smithsonian offering free timed-entry passes to visit new museum in Washington
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, October 23, 2015. Photo by Michael Barnes.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The dedication of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, on the National Mall.

Following the dedication ceremony, the museum will be open to the public Saturday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m.–6 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.–midnight. Due to the size, nature and high level of interest in the dedication ceremony, the museum is distributing timed-entry passes to serve as many visitors as possible while maintaining a smooth flow of people into the museum.

Timed passes are required for entrance into the museum and will continue indefinitely. Beginning Saturday, Aug. 27, at 9 a.m. EDT, timed passes are available through the museum’s website ( There will be no same-day walk-up passes available Sept. 24 or Sept. 25.

The passes are timed at 15-minute intervals. There will be no limit on the amount of time visitors spend inside the museum.

Timed passes can be accessed in advance online and by phone. On Monday, Sept. 26, the museum will begin distributing a limited number of free same-day timed passes on a first-come, first-served basis.

Free timed passes for visitors will be available online at beginning Saturday, Aug. 27, at 9 a.m. EDT. There is a limit of six free timed passes per email address.

Toll-free Phone
Up to six free timed passes obtained through the Customer Support Center will be emailed or mailed in advance. Contact ETIX Customer Support Center at (800) 514-3849 or (919) 653-0443. Hours of operation: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. EDT.

Nonprofit Groups
School, student, religious and community-based organizations with groups of 10 or more may obtain free advance timed passes by phone. It is recommended groups provide at least one adult chaperone for every five students under the age of 18. Contact ETIX Customer Support Center at (800) 514-3849 or (919) 653-0443.

Same-day Passes in Person
Four free timed passes per visitor can be obtained in person at the museum on the same day of the visit. Passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis by the museum’s Visitor Services staff at beginning at 9:15 a.m. daily.

Commercial Tour Operators
Passes for commercial tour operators are available only through ETIX Customer Support Center at (800) 514-3849 or (919) 653-0443.

Dedication Weekend Activities
Large crowds are expected for the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Security screenings will occur at entrances to viewing areas on the Washington Monument grounds for the dedication ceremony and the Freedom Sounds Festival. Security clearances also are required for all visitors entering the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

There will be no general public admission to the grounds of the museum during the dedication ceremony Saturday, Sept. 24. However, the public is invited to watch the ceremony from the grounds of the Washington Monument and on Jumbotrons around the site. Visitors can gain entry to the site only through security screening at access points at 17th Street N.W. and Constitution Avenue N.W. or at 17th Street S.W. and Independence Avenue S.W.

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