WASHINGTON — With just two weeks to go before Pope Francis’ visit to D.C., the Archdiocese of Washington is announcing a new stop on his itinerary and it will offer a chance to see the pontiff for those without a ticket to his other scheduled events.
The archdiocese confirms the pope will add a tour of the Ellipse and part of the National Mall to his schedule.
The popemobile will drive a parade route after the pope’s scheduled 9 a.m. visit with President Barack Obama at the White House on Sept. 23.
There are no tickets required to see the pope along the mall, but expect to pass through a security screening.
Security gates will open at 4 a.m. and no one will be allowed to enter the secure area after 10 a.m.
The parade is expected to begin sometime around 11 a.m, depending on the length of the pope’s visit with the president.
There will be four entrances to the viewing area, including:
- East of the Ellipse on Constitution Avenue
- West of the Ellipse on Constitution Avenue
- East of the Washington Monument near Jefferson Drive and 15th Streets NW
- West of the Washington Monument near 17th Street NW
All security entrances will have access to a sidewalk to the designated ADA viewing area along the parade route, the Archdiocese says.
No food or drink will be allowed in, but concessions will be available. Once inside, visitors will not be allowed to leave and re-enter until the motorcade’s route is complete.
Find a list of prohibited items here.
Travel to the National Mall using Metrorail or Metrobus, the archdiocese suggests. The closest Metro stops are Farragut West, Farragut North, McPherson Square, Metro Center, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian. These stations are all less than a mile from the event.
For those who would rather come later or who miss the security window, there will be a livestream of the popemobile’s movements on a giant screen set up on the mall. It will be set up to the northeast of the Washington Monument grounds, near the corner of 15th Street NW and Constitution Avenue.
The live, continuous feed will feature the pope’s visit to the White House ahead of the motorcade route around the Mall and will follow the Pontiff to events later in the day. Individuals can stay through the day to watch Pope Francis’ address to U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and the canonization Mass, which will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Those who want to watch the pope on the big screen from noon to 6 p.m. will be permitted to bring signs, food, and drinks into the area, following National Park Service guidelines.
The Vatican also confirms that thee Secret Service already has the Jeep popemobile which Pope Francis will use throughout his U.S. visit. The pontiff also plans to visit New York City and Philadelphia.
Learn everything you need to know about the pope’s visit here.