Final Preparations Underway For Centennial Celebration
June 09, 2003
Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130
Superintendent Linda L. Stoll announced today final preparations are underway to host activities marking the park’s first one hundred years over the weekend of June 13, 14, and 15th. Events begin Friday afternoon with registration for an all-employee reunion. Currently, there are just under four hundred former employees and family signed up for the event. Friday’s activities include an open house for the 100th Anniversary Art Show from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center. Afterwards, there will be a special campfire program beginning at 9 p.m. at the park’s campground amphitheater.
Saturday, there will be free cave tours and many activities occurring in and around the park’s visitor center. These include American Indian and Mountain Man skill demonstrations of quillwork, beadwork, blacksmithing, and muzzle loading. Indian games for kids and special hikes and presentations will also be offered. The day’s events end with a banquet and entertainment with a portrayal of President Theodore Roosevelt and singing and hoop dancing by noted Lakota artist Kevin Locke. Reservations are required for the banquet but not for the program.
Shuttle busses from an overflow parking area will be used. People with reservations for Saturday’s banquet need to arrive in the park no later than 5:45 p.m. to allow time to be bussed to the campground for the presentation of the colors. The last bus to the campground for dinner and the program will leave the overflow parking area at 7 p.m.
Sunday, in addition to the cultural demonstrations, there will be a Volksmarch along the Lookout Point Trail. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the Visitor Center front lawn. Superintendent Stoll said, “The park has always enjoyed strong local support, and we would like to use this weekend to thank people in the surrounding area for their assistance over the years.”
For more centennial information, check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/wica/.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.