Cape Cod National Seashore Announces Centennial Celebration Plans

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Date: June 8, 2016
Contact: George Price, Superintendent, 508-957-0739

Wellfleet, MA—Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price has announced a full line-up of events and activities to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Legislation establishing the federal agency that is tasked with protecting and providing for public enjoyment of over 400 national park areas in the US was signed on August 25, 1916. 

"This is an exciting year for the National Park Service," said Price. "It's a time to look back and honor those who had the foresight to set aside these remarkable lands. We also are looking ahead to envision who our future stewards will be, and how we can engage them."

The theme of the Centennial is "Find Your Park," a challenge to Americans to seek out one of the more than 400 national park areas in the US and to discover their stories. There is a particular focus on young people who will be park caretakers in the future. The line-up of programs at the national seashore reflects these goals.

Every Kid in a Park for Fourth-Graders National program to encourage 4th-graders and their families to visit parks. Fourth-graders should visit to obtain a voucher that provides for free entry into all national parks and federal lands, including the six national seashore beaches, through August 2016.

Exhibition: Piecing Together a Changing Planet National juried show of art quilts depicting climate change and other human-caused effects on national parks. Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham, through July 24.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People The national seashore is continuing its partnership with Cape Cod Healthcare to promote national parks as cornerstones of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Healthcare professionals will be at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham from 8-11 AM on weekdays through early September to help visitors and residents set and achieve their personal fitness goals. In addition, rangers will offer fitness and wellness programs, such as canoeing, yoga on the beach, surfcasting, art and literature explorations, and long hikes.

June 14: Concert, Massachusetts Walking Tour—7 PM, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham As the Massachusetts Walking Tour passes through Eastham on June 14, tour members and local musicians will team up to perform a public concert focused on the value of arts and public lands. Free and hosted by Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

June 25: Highlands Fest, Highlands Center—10 AM-2 PM, Highlands Center, Truro The theme of this year's festival is "Spreading Wings," inspired by the Atlantic Flyway and the Highlands Center partners taking flight and flourishing. Family fun, with sculptures, storytelling, mural painting, dance, and music.

July 12: Highland Light--20 Years Since the Move—2 PM, Highland Light, Truro Join the Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band and staff from Eastern National, the national seashore, and the Town of Truro to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the lighthouse's relocation from the eroding bluff.

July 14-16: Found Our Park! Celebrating Art in the Seashore—Event featuring two days of en plein air painting in the park, followed by an exhibition at the Addison Gallery, Orleans, on July 16. Public programs on art and national parks at 1 PM on Thursday, July 14 at Salt Pond Visitor Center and at 1 PM Friday, July 15 at Province Lands Visitor Center. Artists should register for the festival at Sponsored by Addison Art Gallery, the National Park Service, Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and Eastern National.

July 28: Curtis on Tour Community Concert—7 PM, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham Concert featuring musicians from the renowned Curtis Institute of Music, in collaboration with the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. The program will feature a string quartet of Curtis students and alumni, as well as an introduction to a new national seashore-inspired work by composer Jonathan Bailey Holland. This concert is funded by an Imagine Your Parks grant, celebrating 50 years of the National Endowment for the Arts and 100 years of the National Park Service, and uniting the missions of the two agencies to promote and protect our nation's cultural and national treasures.

August 25 through 28: Fee Free Days Free admission to all national parks, including the six national seashore beaches.

August 25 Anniversary Activities:

  • Science Street Fair and Annual Science Symposium10 AM-4 PM, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham An event showcasing science and research at the national seashore. During the morning street fair, meet seashore scientists and see the tools of the trade that help reveal the seashore's natural resources and issues. Kids can earn a special National Park Service Centennial Junior Ranger badge. The symposium, held between 1 and 4 PM, will feature short and engaging presentations by researchers and scholars. While technical in nature, the symposium is aimed at general audiences.
  • Province Lands Centennial Celebration, 2-4 PM, Province Lands Visitor Center, Provincetown An afternoon of family fun, including Wampanoag music and games, a scavenger hunt, birthday cake, US Postal Service commemorative cancellation, an Instagram InstaMeet, and a slide show on the forces that created the Cape and those that continue to shape it.Kids can earn a special National Park Service Centennial Junior Ranger badge.
  • Centennial Celebration Family Concert: 100 Years of the National Park Service, featuring the Cape Symphony—6 PM, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham As the sun begins to set, and with the tranquil Salt Pond and the Atlantic as the backdrop, the symphony will perform pieces that reflect on nature and the value of parks and the natural world. Sponsored by Eastern National, the national seashore's bookstore and Highland Light partner.

August 27 –Outer Cape Artists in Residence Consortium (OCARC) Celebrates its 20th Anniversary—7-8:30 PM, Province Lands Visitor Center, Provincetown Join members of the OCARC Board, as well as artists who have spent time in the dune shacks managed by the Peaked Hill Trust.Learn about the residency program, what it's like to create art during a dune shack stay, and the significance of this national historic district.

In addition, throughout the summer national seashore rangers will offer guided programs that reflect on the history and mission of the National Park Service, as well as what Cape Cod was like 100 years ago. Some programs will feature InstaMeets for Instagrammers to capture and share their moment in the national seashore.

For more information about national seashore programs, pick up a copy of Park News at a visitor center or visit

The great Outer Beach of Cape Cod is protected within Cape Cod National Seashore. Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod's past and continuing ways of life. 


Last updated: June 8, 2016

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