WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - The grand reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12 is shaping up to be a star-studded event.
Officials announced Tuesday that the "Today" show's weather anchor, Al Roker, will serve as the event's master of ceremonies, and that "American Idol's" season 12 winner, Candice Glover, will perform.
Other high-profile appearances at the event include U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Bob Vogel, and renowned philanthropist David Rubenstein, who donated funds for the monument's repair.
Additional performances will include the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the United States Navy Band, and the Boy and Girl Choristers of the Washington National Cathedral Choir.
The official reopening event is open to the public and will take place on Monday, May 12 beginning at 10 a.m. 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.
"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.
Public tours of the Washington Monument will begin at 1 p.m. 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 Vogel. "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.