Public invited to watch Graham motorcade in downtown Black Mountain

A hearse carrying Billy Graham's casket arrives at The Cove on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Folks wishing to pay their respects to the late Rev. Billy Graham and his family are invited to gather in Black Mountain on Saturday.

Graham's motorcade from The Cove to Charlotte will pass through downtown Black Mountain, which is the only local designated viewing spot.

Reverend Graham's motorcade is scheduled to leave The Cove at 11:25 a.m., making its way into downtown Black Mountain within 10 minutes.

The Black Mountain police chief said his department is prepared for thousands of people to gather for the procession.

"Those planning to pay their respects, we'd recommend they show up a little early so they can get a parking place somewhere, because they may have to walk into the area," Chief Shawn Freeman suggested. "Also, those just passing through, be patient with us as we shut down the roads to pay respect to a man who deserves to be honored."

State Street and other side roads will be closed beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The procession will depart The Cove about 11:25 a.m. Saturday, taking Interstate 40 east to the Swannanoa exit. It will go east on U.S. 70, passing through Black Mountain. Recommended viewing areas are along State Street through town.

The motorcade is expected to arrive at the Graham Library in Charlotte about 2:20 p.m.

Black Mountain is located near Billy Graham's home in Montreat. Graham and his wife, Ruth, got married in 1943 at Christ Community Church on the campus of Montreat College.

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