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Grand Re-Opening of Historic Visitor Center Brings Celebrities to Park

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Date: October 17, 2012

November 3rd and 4th will be the days to commemorate a number of events in Death Valley National Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 4th at 1pm in the courtyard of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. The historic "Mission 66" style of architecture that dominated National Park Service facilities in the 1950s and 60s, including the Visitor Center and Museum, will show a refreshed interior with new interpretive exhibits. The building will be LEED certified with energy saving components built into the new design.

The two days will also celebrate dignitaries from several organizations. Perhaps the biggest stars will be the US Borax Twenty Mule Team - used in the early 1900s to transport the mineral borax from what is now park land to market. Mineral giant Rio Tinto's President and CEO will attend the event, and singer/songwriter and former Death Valley Ranger Stan Jones will be remembered with songs played by his nephew, Keeter Stuart.

The weekend will feature demonstrations by the Twenty Mule Team each day, a session with former park Superintendents, special ranger tours and programs, as well as an evening program on Saturday in the refurbished auditorium. New exhibits about the park include a 3-D map accompanied by a video screen describing various locations for park visitors. Musicians Jean Pickard and Don Truby of "South Coast" will play in the Visitor Center courtyard both days.

Entrance fees to the park will be waived for the weekend, and all the events are open and no charge to the public. Lodging is available at park campgrounds, Stovepipe Wells Village, or the Furnace Creek Resort.

For more information, see www.nps.gov/deva or call Cheryl Chipman at 760-786-3207.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

The salt stretches across the floor of Death Valley

The salt pan on the floor of Death Valley covers more than 200 square miles. It is 40 miles long and more than 5 miles wide.