Some relief is on the way for folks who have had a tough time getting tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
During the entire month of April 2018, the museum will hold Walk-Up Wednesdays in which visitors—on a first come, first served basis—can enter without timed entry passes, the museum announced.
People who already have advance tickets for April will receive priority entry.
“Walk-Up Wednesday in April will help us to determine how to manage visitor demand,” said Lonnie Bunch III, the museum’s founding director, according to USA Today. “We are honored and humbled to have struck such a chord with our visitors… We don’t want to disappoint our visitors by reaching capacity and having them wait in long lines for space to become available inside the galleries.”
More than 2.5 million visitors have entered the museum’s doors since it opened in September 2016. On average, visitors stay about 4 ½ hours on weekdays. Its popularity prompted the museum to require visitors to obtain tickets in advance for guaranteed entry, which can take at least two months.
Folks have been sounding off on social media about the wait—many of them expressing relief when they finally landed tickets.
“The goal of this pilot program is to provide greater access for the public while maintaining the safety and security of our visitors,” Bunch added.
As part of the Smithsonian Institution, entry to the museum remains free. Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, it’s the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It houses more than 36,000 artifacts.