After years of planning, WWI Centennial Ceremony is just hours away

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Preparations continue Wednesday as thousands from around the world arrive in Kansas City for the World War I Centennial Ceremony.

Delegates from 27 countries are attending this ceremony, so security in the area will be tight.

Starting at 3 a.m. Thursday, they will shut down all the roads around the Liberty Memorial – including Pershing and Main.

View map of road closures

If you are one of the 3,000 people attending the ceremony, you will not be able to park anywhere in this area. You’ll have to park somewhere else and either walk or take the streetcar. There will also be shuttles at Union Station to take you to the ceremony.

World War I Museum officials have spent years planning for this event.

April 6 marks America’s entry into World War I, and there will be a 90-minute, multi-media production that includes readings, music, and poems from that time period.

Delegates from England, Germany, Austria, France and Italy will be among the 27 countries represented at this event, and the families of famous generals, the governors of Missouri and Kansas, and U.S. military officials will be in Kansas City, as well.

Ticketholders must arrive between 6 and 9 a.m. The pre-ceremony begins around 10 a.m. while the actual event begins at 11 a.m.

If you are attending, you can bring a chair or blanket, but do not bring your purse, a bag, or food. Also, make sure you have your ticket in hand or else you will not be allowed in.

If you want to watch it from home or work, they will live stream it, go to to learn more about that.

While getting around this part of town will be a headache Thursday morning, these roads should be back open by the afternoon rush hour.

The closed roads are:

  • Main Street between 20th Street and Grand Boulevard
  • Pershing Road between Broadway Street and Grand Boulevard
  • Kessler Road from Pershing Road to Wyandotte Street
  • 27th Street between Main Street and Grand Boulevard
  • 29th Street between Broadway and Wyandotte Street
  • Wyandotte Street between Memorial Drive / Kessler Road and 31st Street
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