In a dramatic change of tone from the previous year, when he said there was "blame on both sides" for the violence, President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence".
Jason Kessler, organizer of last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, submitted the application and wrote that he expects 400 supporters of the alt-right agenda. Police at last year's event were criticized for being caught off guard by the violence, failing to keep feuding groups apart and not reacting quickly enough as fights broke out. Peace to ALL Americans!'
There are no official far-right protests planned in town this weekend, but the city's downtown area has been closed to traffic, and the University of Virginia, where hundreds of white supremacists marched with flaming torches a year ago, is restricting access to parts of its campus.
"Last year they came with torches", said a large banner in downtown Charlottesville, according to the Washington Post.
Local and state authorities framed the weekend's heightened security as a necessary precaution.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham answer questions from reporters about the city's preparations for the white nationalist-led rally marking the one-year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right", protests in Washington, August 9, 2018.
On Sunday, thousands of counter-protesters are slated to attend multiple rallies against white supremacy in Washington, DC.
That quaint Virginia college town, still wrestling with slavery's legacy, was the scene of protests, violent clashes and the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was struck down by a speeding vehicle that plowed into a group of counterprotesters. They tried to kill my child to shut her up.
Among the remembrance events that occurred Saturday was a "morning of reflection and renewal" at UVA that featured musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan.
Bro said Heyer, a paralegal for a Charlottesville law firm, helped her understand white privilege, and she has been attempting to explain that to others.
But some business owners and downtown visitors said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.
The president of the University of Virginia has offered an apology to the students and community members who faced off a year ago against white supremacists during a march through campus.
Mark Lance, a philosophy professor at Georgetown University and an organizer of some of Sunday's planned the counter-demonstrations, said Kessler's call for "white civil rights" was meant to obscure the beliefs of those that rallied in Charlottesville.
Trump's tweet Saturday, his first public mention of the anniversary, did not label the event as a white supremacist rally or specify that it was a white rallygoer who rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one. Two state police troopers also died that day, August 12, 2017, in a helicopter crash.
Several white supremacists are expected to speak at the second annual Unite the Right rally, including David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
"You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides", Trump said.
"The City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police and all partner agencies involved in safeguarding the Greater Charlottesville Region throughout the weekend continue to remain vigilant in anticipation of planned events", city officials said in a news release.