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Booker T. Washington National Monument fully reopens
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Booker T. Washington National Monument fully reopens

Booker T. Washington National Monument

Booker T. Washington National Monument’s visitor center reopened last week after being closed to the public for more than a year.

Booker T. Washington National Monument announced last week it is fully reopened to the public. The park’s visitors center has been closed for more than a year because of COVID-19 restrictions.

With the opening of the park’s visitors center July 15, guests now have full access to the entire park once again. Visitors once again can watch the 12-minute documentary on Booker T. Washington titled “Measure of a Man” in the park’s theater room, tour exhibits and the park’s bookstore.

“We are now providing the full experience for visitors,” said Robin Snyder, superintendent of the monument.

The reopening marks the end of a partial closing that lasted since March of last year. At that time the park was fully closed briefly because the pandemic but partially reopened in May.

“We are happy to be open again,” Snyder said of the decision. She did caution that park staff is still keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 pandemic and any possible changes in the future.

Snyder said the reopening has come at a beneficial time when the park is seeing an increase in visitors. Many national parks have become more popular in recent months as people have shown an interest in getting out after spending more than a year indoors.

Access to the park’s visitors center also helps guests this time of year, Snyder said. It is one of the only buildings with air conditioning that can help people to cool down on warm days while touring the park.

Although the park is now fully reopened, the annual Harvest Days Festival has been canceled. Snyder said preparations for the festival happen months in advance and did not allow enough time for this year. She is optimistic the annual Olde Virginia Christmas program will take place this December.

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