Monticello’s annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony will still be held July 4 but will not be open to the public.
A special Independence Day program will premiere at 1 p.m. July 4 on Monticello’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and website.
The program will include highlights from past naturalization ceremonies at the historic home of Thomas Jefferson — the longest-running naturalization ceremony outside of a courtroom, according to Monticello — and remarks from speakers and staff that “reflect on the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.”
Monticello has significantly reduced the size of its naturalization ceremony this year to align with directives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to Jennifer Lyon, a Monticello spokeswoman. This means only about 25 people will be naturalized and that limits have been placed on the number of guests they may bring.
Monticello will open to the public at 10:30 a.m. July 4, following the ceremony.
“The main focus of this smaller, more stripped-down program will be the citizens and their powerful stories,” Lyon said.
Monticello held a similar virtual ceremony in 2020.