June 26, 2008
Melissa Wilson, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Several area residents who witnessed the 1933 dedication of Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) will attend the 75th anniversary commemoration of this engineering marvel on Friday, June 27.
Hundreds are expected to attend the 2 p.m. ceremony at Lake McDonald Lodge. State, tribal and federal officials will be joined by tribal drummers and local musicians. Scheduled speakers include Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Blackfeet Tribal official Earl Old Person, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman James Steele, Jr., U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Associate Administrator John Baxter and National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Regional Director Mike Snyder.
All members of the public are invited to attend, and/or to join in other events and festivities Friday. In addition to the official ceremony, park concessioners and local businesses are holding Sun Road-themed activities in the park and its gateway communities of St. Mary and West Glacier. For details, go to www.glacierassociation.org.
Because parking is extremely limited at Lake McDonald, organizers urge anyone attending to park at Glacier’s Apgar Transit Center (ATC) and ride free shuttles to and from the lodge. Historic red buses provided by Glacier Park, Inc. and Sun Tours vans will join the new buses running attendees east to Lake McDonald Lodge between noon and 2 p.m. Shuttles will run westbound return trips to the ATC from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sun Road shuttles will NOT provide other service that day. They begin full operations Wednesday, July 3.
Seating at the ceremony will be limited. The general public is urged to bring folding or portable chairs that can easily fit at their feet on the shuttles. Don’t forget water and sunscreen for the heat of a warm summer afternoon.
The ceremony at first was planned for Logan Pass, where both the original 1933 Sun Road dedication and 50th anniversary rededication (July 15, 1983) were held. But the unusual winter snowpack, late spring storms and avalanche danger forced the park last week to relocate the ceremony to Lake McDonald Lodge.
For more information about the Sun Road’s design and construction, anniversary event updates, or to view a short 5-minute version of the new NPS/FHWA-produced film, “Preserving a Landmark in the Sky,” go to www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsr75th.htm.
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