Washington Monument Reopening Ceremony to Feature Al Roker and American Idol Winner Candice Glover

Trust for the National Mall & National Park Service

Carol Johnson (National Park Service), 202-208-3103
Mike Litterst (National Park Service), 202-513-0354
Kristine Fitton (Trust for the National Mall), 202-407-9412
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall today announced that Al Roker, the TODAY show’s weather anchor and author, will join Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, and philanthropist David Rubenstein, and National Mall & Memorial Parks Superintendent Bob Vogel at the upcoming celebration of the reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12. Roker will serve as master of ceremonies, and will also be joined by American Idol Season 12 winner Candice Glover, the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps, the United States Navy Band, and the Boy and Girl Choristers of Washington National Cathedral Choir.
The official reopening event will take place on Monday, May 12 beginning at 10 am on the southwest grounds of the Washington Monument. The 555-foot obelisk honoring America’s first president is reopening to the public for the first time since August 23, 2011, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused significant damage to the structure and forced its closure.  
“The construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 when private citizens raised money to build a memorial to our first president, and now it has been repaired thanks in great part to the generosity of another private citizen and philanthropist, David Rubenstein, through the auspices of the Trust for the National Mall,” Secretary Jewell said. “This enduring spirit of public-private partnership has made it possible for visitors to once again enjoy the unmatched view of the city named after George Washington from the top of the memorial built in his honor.”
 “As the National Park Service prepares for its second century of service to the American people, the cooperation with David Rubenstein on the restoration of the Washington Monument shows what great things are possible when we partner with the philanthropic community,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “His generous donation to the project follows in the great philanthropic traditions of Stephen Mather, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Andrew Carnegie, and so many others who over the years have turned to the national parks as a means of giving back to their country.”
“We’re thrilled to have Al Roker and Candice Glover play such important roles at an event that will celebrate the Washington Monument as well as the man who inspired it,” said Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall. “Thanks to the generosity of philanthropist David Rubenstein and the tremendous efforts of the National Park Service, the monument will inspire and delight visitors and residents once again.”   
Public tours of the Washington Monument will begin at 1 pm on May 12 after the reopening ceremony, and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. that morning at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street, between Madison and Jefferson Drives.
“We’re looking forward to a great event and a meaningful day as we unveil the efforts of the past two and a half years,” said Bob Vogel, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.  “The Washington Monument is looking spectacular – inside and out – and we can’t wait to share that with the public.” 
The reopening event is sponsored by Trust for the National Mall partner Coca-Cola
Al Roker is best known as the weather anchor on NBC’s TODAY Show. Since 2009, Roker has co-hosted his morning show, Wake Up with Al, on The Weather Channel. 
Candice Glover is the first female winner of American Idol since Jordin Sparks won in 2007. Her debut album Music Speaks was released on February 18, 2014.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, or on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
About the Trust for the National Mall
The Trust for the National Mall is the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, while providing new educational and volunteer opportunities that connect the park’s more than 29 million annual visitors to the National Mall’s rich history. For more information on the Trust for the National Mall, please visit www.nationalmall.org.