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Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024
Carlsbad Caverns National Park superintendent John Benjamin has announced the dates for the 50th annual Bat Flight Breakfast and 3rd annual Celebration of the Night. Due to a much anticipated visitor center renovation that is expected to begin in late January 2007 and last for approximately one year, the two events will be held on separate weekends in July 2007.
To coincide with the New Moon, 2007’s Celebration of the Night star party will begin the evening of July 13 and continue into the early morning hours of July 14. The 50th annual Bat Flight Breakfast taking advantage of a nearly full moon and will be held Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 7 a.m.
“With all the construction that will be going on next summer, there’s no way that we could feasibly keep the two events to the same weekend,” said Benjamin. “By having two separate events, we’ll ensure that visitors and park staff have a safe and enjoyable time. Besides, it’ll be the 50th Bat Flight Breakfast—that’s something big to celebrate on its own!” Benjamin noted that it is likely that the two events will be held together in 2008.
The park’s location high on a ridgetop in the Chihuahuan Desert far away from city lights makes it the perfect place to view the stars. In addition to the annual Celebration of the Night, the park also conducts other star parties throughout the year.
The Bat Flight Breakfast began in 1957 as a way to encourage visitors to see the bats’ morning return flight. Before entering the cave in the morning, the bats circle several hundred feet overhead and then dive in clusters into the cave entrance. Unlike the shorter nighttime exodus out of the cave when the bats spiral up and leave the cave, the sunrise return to the cave normally spans several hours.
The annual breakfast is sponsored by the Carlsbad Caverns Activity Association and Cavern Supply Company in cooperation with the National Park Service.
More detailed breakfast and star party information will be forthcoming in the next few months. For more information, contact Bridget Litten at 505.785.3024, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/cave/.