Celebrate the Holidays in Mesa Verde: 2010 Luminaria Holiday Open House
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628
On Thursday, December 9, 2010, the staff of Mesa Verde National Park will host the 2010 Annual Holiday Open House from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in the Chapin Mesa headquarters area.
Everyone is invited to join the park staff in this holiday celebration featuring special tours, luminarias, musical entertainment, night sky interpretation, and refreshments. The regularly scheduled ranger-guided tours of Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling in the park, will be presented at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Special evening tours will be offered at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Luminarias will glow along the pathways throughout the headquarters area, a National Historic Landmark District, and along the trail to Spruce Tree House. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight.
The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum will remain open until 9:00 p.m. The Museum's Centennial Gallery will highlight the creative works of Dolores Elementary, Middle, and High School students. The students, under the direction of art teachers Amy Woodward and Laurelee MacHale, have used a variety of techniques, designs, and textures to showcase Mesa Verde and the American Southwest. The park is proud to display the artwork of these talented young artists.
There will be musical entertainment in the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum Auditorium throughout the evening. The schedule of performances is as follows:
The Fort Lewis College Bala Sinem choir will be singing along the trail to Spruce Tree House as part of the festivities for the evening.
From 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., there will be night sky interpretation provided at the tennis court in the Chapin Mesa Headquarters area. Using the 9 ¼ inch telescope, a park ranger will show visitors the night sky, while telling Native American star stories as well as what the stars meant to other ancient cultures. Ask for directions to the tennis court at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum.
The non-profit Mesa Verde Museum Association (MVMA) Museum bookstore will be open highlighting the sale of books, posters, puppets, historic photographs, and great holiday gifts. As a special offer for any purchase over $30.00, MVMA will give a gift set of one DVD—Mesa Verde Treasures of the Past, five artifact postcards, and a 1926 Re-Excavation of Step House publication by Jesse L. Nusbaum. Bring your gift list along to take advantage of this special occasion. Proceeds benefit Mesa Verde National Park.
Attendance at the Open House is free. Refreshments will be provided by ARAMARK at the Spruce Tree Terrace.
No park entrance fee will be charged after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 9, 2010. Mark your calendar and plan to join us in the park festivities!
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.