MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The National Civil Rights Museum is gearing up for MLK50--a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Friday, the museum unveiled logistics and parking plans for the April 4th event. The ceremony begins at the museum Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
"What it is, is absolutely a time for us to reflect and remember what Dr. King has meant in our lives and the impact he's made on the nation and the world," Faith Morris, with NCRM, said.
Around 15,000 people packed the National Civil Rights Museum and its grounds for the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.
Now, 10 years later, museum officials are expecting more next week for the 50th.
"We are still getting people calling and many are traveling in so you can expect that there will be a nice sized crowd here," Morris said.
Lines formed Friday to get into the museum as workers put scaffolding into place and hung the commemorative bell that will toll when the anniversary is marked. Additional video screens and seating will also be erected.
"People are starting to come now because they do want to get close to this moment," Morris said.
As for parking, the main museum lot will be closed April 2-4. FedExForum Toyota Parking Garage will allow free parking during this time to NCRM visitors.
MATA buses will offer free shuttles between FedExForum and NCRM.
Parking lots around the museum won't be available as street closures go into place at midnight on Tuesday, April 3, and won't be lifted until midnight April 5.
The following roads will be closed:
- 2nd Street at GE Patterson
- West on GE Patterson to Main Street
- North on Main Street to Talbot Street
- East on Talbot to 2nd Street
- South on 2nd Street returning to GE Patterson
East Butler Avenue (between Main and Mulberry streets) and Mulberry Street (between East Butler Avenue and GE Patterson) will close Monday at 12 a.m.
The museum said lines to enter will be directed away from the courtyard and visitors are advised to pack light.
There is also a detailed security plan in place. All visitors are subject to search on the grounds and weapons are prohibited.
"There will be security that you see and that you don't see. It will be fully secured," Morris said.