DALLAS - Only 5,000 people will be randomly selected to attend the Nov. 22 commemoration event honoring the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dealey Plaza.
Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings and the JFK 50th Committee announced details on the ticket request process Thursday morning at the Sixth Floor Museum.
Of the more than 5,000 spots, more than half are reserved for North Texas residents, the majority of those going to folks in Dallas County. The rest will be released to the general public. The entire process is random.
Residents interested in attending can submit a request for up to two tickets until July 31. The JFK 50th Committee said those who are chosen will hear back around Oct. 1.
The reason for the early deadline, Rawlings said, is that the Dallas Police Department needs time to conduct background checks on the 5,000 people selected.
“This is not a simple process,” the mayor said.
Rawlings cited the Boston bombings as a reason why security measures will be ramped up. However, he said he is not worried about an attack or any danger. In April, the city of Dallas successfully hosted hundreds of regional, state, national and international political figures for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
All the living presidents, including Barack Obama, were present that day.
“Public safety is paramount,” Rawlings said Thursday. “It is the committee’s intent to provide the safest environment for those attending this program.”
In addition to the background checks, each person must present two forms of ID in order to pick-up their ticket between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the American Airlines Center the day of the event. No one but the person whose name appears on the ticket may pick it up.
Any tickets that are not picked up by 10 a.m. on Nov. 22 will go to those people who are on the wait-list. Wait-listers will also be notified of their status around Oct. 1.
For those who cannot score a ticket, the event will stream live at various satellite locations in the city, including the large screens that adorn Victory Park, the mayor confirmed.
“We are planning a serious, simple, understated, respectful public memorial commemorating President Kennedy’s life,” Rawlings said.