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Contact: Eric Campbell, (540) 869-3051
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ANNOUNCES RANGER CONDUCTED PROGRAMS THIS SUMMER
Middletown, VA ----- Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is once again offering ranger-conducted programs this summer. After years of planning, the National Park Service offered public programs for the first time last year. Expanding on that initial success, the park will continue those presentations this year. Programs will be offered on a daily basis beginning Saturday, June 11 and continue through August 14.
"After the successful initiation of the first ranger programs last year, we will expand both the number and frequency of the presentations this summer," said park superintendent Diann Jacox. "We hope that by offering increased interpretive opportunities more visitors and local citizens will become aware of the numerous significant resources preserved today by the National Park Service, key partners and private landowners within the park."
These programs tell the park's many stories related to the rich cultural history of the Shenandoah Valley, its settlement, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on both the local communities and the nation as a whole.All of the ranger-led programs are free and include:
Presented daily will be Cedar Creek and Belle Grove "in a Box" –a 30 minute overview on the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the local community. This interactive program, for both adults and children, uses various props (taken out of a box) and the surrounding landscape features to "create" and tell the park's many stories by literally placing visitors "in the middle of the park. "Offered daily at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Sundays, 3:30 p.m. only) on the front lawn of Belle Grove.
Programs offered on a regular basis, as staffing permits, include:
Battle of Cedar Creek Tour A two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle), will cover the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion. This 13 mile tour follows the major events of the fighting and includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle. Tours begin at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters. Offered every Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and regularly throughout the remainder of each week.
"From Back Country to Breadbasket" The Peopling of the Shenandoah Valley This 30 minute overview program covers the history of the Shenandoah Valley from its creation, through the eve of the Civil War. This program will be presented on the front lawn of Belle Grove.
"To Battlefield and Beyond" War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley This 45 minute program examines the many military campaigns and battles that occurred in the Valley and their effect upon the local communities. Presented at Hupp's Hill Civil War Park.
Middletown Civil War Walking Tours Discover the many layers of Civil War history by learning about the citizens of Middletown who lived through those difficult times and how the war impacted their lives. Meet the ranger for a 90 minute walking tour at the Farmer's Market, 2325 First Street, Middletown. Offered at 11:00 a.m. on the 3rd Saturday of each month, June-October. (June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17 and October 15)
A series of special programs called History at Sunset will be presented on Friday evenings from early July through mid-August. These tours will cover a wide variety of subjects related to the park's rich cultural history and give visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open to the general public. Explore and learn about some of the many "hidden gems" of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP. Tours will be 60-90 minutes and begin at 7:00 p.m. The program schedule will be released at a later date.
Program schedules will be announced weekly on the park website (www.nps.gov/cebe) or call for a current schedule. Visitors should contact the park at (540) 869-3051 for a current schedule and weather-related program changes.
About Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove commemorates a nationally significant Civil War landscape and antebellum plantation by sharing the story of Shenandoah Valley history from early settlement through the Civil War and beyond. The park is embedded within the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, a National Heritage Area.
Created on December 19, 2002, the park encompasses approximately 3,700 acres across three counties and includes the key partner sites of Belle Grove Plantation (owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by Belle Grove, Inc.), Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation lands and Headquarters, Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation lands, and a developing Shenandoah County Park. The partner sites continue to be owned and operated independently.