How to attend events honoring Rosalynn Carter in Atlanta and Plains

First Lady Rosalynn Carter will be celebrated early next week at Atlanta’s Carter Presidential Center and the family’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Credit: John Spink/AJC

Credit: John Spink/AJC

First Lady Rosalynn Carter will be celebrated early next week at Atlanta’s Carter Presidential Center and the family’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Events honoring and celebrating the life of former first lady Rosalynn Carter are scheduled early next week at Atlanta’s Carter Presidential Center and the family’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.

With the influx of people looking to pay their respects and see the processions, here’s what to expect.

On Monday afternoon, after stops in Americus, the Carter family motorcade will arrive in downtown Atlanta at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum on John Lewis Freedom Parkway. The library/museum and Carter Center are collectively known as the Carter Presidential Center.

There will be a private arrival ceremony at the presidential library and museum at 3:15 p.m. and repose service in the lobby about 15 minutes later.

Public repose

Members of the public are invited to pay their respects from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday at the presidential library and museum.

“At the public repose, they will enter the library and museum and briefly pay their respects,” a Carter Center spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We expect a long queue outside, so bring an umbrella if it looks like rain.”

There will be no parking at the Carter Presidential Center. Parking and shuttle services will be available at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 435 Peachtree Street, about two miles west of the center. The shuttles leave every 15 minutes and will drop people off on Freedom Parkway near the museum, the Carter Center said in a news release.

The church, which has limited parking space, is accessible via the Civic Center MARTA Station or bus route 40 that runs along Peachtree Road, MARTA spokesperson Payson Schwin said. People can also walk and bike to the event, or ride-share and be dropped off nearby. Roads surrounding the center are expected to be closed.

For people using the buses and eventually heading inside the Carter Presidential Center, a list of prohibited items are available here.

Private ceremonies

On Tuesday morning, a private departure ceremony will be held at the center from 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The motorcade will travel to Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University and could impact traffic on the way.

Many of the events, including a private memorial service at Emory where President Joe Biden will be in attendance, will be broadcast live on television.

The opening and closing ceremonies at the Carter Presidential Center are not open to the public, the center said.

In Plains, the ceremonies start around 10:55 a.m. Wednesday, when the funeral procession arrives at Maranatha Baptist, a tiny church known for its famous members, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. A private 11 a.m. service will then be held for family and invited friends. At about 12:30 p.m. the casket will be transferred to a hearse for private interment at the Carter family residence.

Worshippers are seen leaving Easter Sunday service at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.

Credit: David Aaro /

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Credit: David Aaro /

Public motorcade viewing

Afterward in Plains, the public is welcome to line the family motorcade route from designated viewing areas as it travels from the church, down Bond Street, and along Highway 280, the main roadway that cuts through downtown Plains.

“Everyone is expected to respect private property and park only in designated areas,” the Carter Center said. Those areas are expected to be released soon.

For those wishing to stay overnight, other areas of the town — including Plains High School, the Plains Depot and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm — will remain open, according to Jill Stuckey, the superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historical Park. The gravesite area will be closed for the foreseeable future.

Those traveling to Plains are welcome to explore the shops and take a tour from the high school’s welcome center to learn more about Rosalynn and President Carter. Stuckey expects many visitors will come to pay their respects.

“The shops and things are open downtown, so tourists are always welcome in Plains,” with the exception of Thanksgiving, she said. “Even at this this time of the loss of our favorite First Lady, we’re just anxious to tell people about the life of Rosalynn Carter.”

Visitors coming from Atlanta should be aware of the lack of hotels. There aren’t many down there, and the ones nearby will likely be full. So don’t count on staying close to Plains.

The Carter Center said there will be “several opportunities for the public to view the funeral motorcade to and from services in Americus and Plains, with routes to be released the day before each movement.

Condolence books will be available to sign at Georgia Southwestern State University, the Plains Welcome Center, Plains High School, and the presidential library and museum.

The Carter Center said it will post additional updates and details on the events over the next few days.

A portrait of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter made from mulch, peat moss and stones sits on a hill in Freedom Park in Atlanta on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023.   (Ben Gray /

Credit: Ben Gray

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Credit: Ben Gray