Happy 40th Birthday, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park!

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Rangers and a special guest take to the streets of Skagway's Historic District to celebrate 40 years of sharing Gold Rush history.

A person in a bear costume pretends to eat cake.

NPS photo/ S.Muether

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park hosted fun activities to celebrate the 40th birthday of the park on June 30. All events were free and open to the public.

Happy Birthday Procession & Cake!
Visitors and community members joined us on our birthday procession as we walked from National Park Service building to building, singing happy birthday to each one. We gathered at the Moore Homestead at 10:30 a.m., and walked through town wishing the Trail Center, Junior Ranger Activity Center, Mascot Saloon Museum, and Jeff. Smiths Parlor Museum a happy birthday. At each stop, we sang happy birthday to the building and gave the building a balloon. The procession ended at the future Ton of Goods sculpture exhibit, directly across from the park Visitor Center on Broadway.

At 11:00 a.m.at the future Ton of Goods sculpture exhibit, visitors and community members enjoyed some birthday cake on us! There was even a bear sighting – albeit a mascot. Photo opportunities were encouraged.

All Day Birthday Events
People were encouraged to stop by the park visitor center anytime on June 30 to sign a giant birthday card for the park. They could write their name, a favorite moment in a national park, or something they enjoyed about this park. This card will be featured on the National Park Service 4th of July float.

Jeff. Smiths Parlor was free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.and from 1:00-5:00 p.m.From animatronic mannequins to fantastical taxidermy, Jeff. Smiths Parlor tells the stories of Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, Martin Itjen, and George Rapuzzi, as well as the story of the National Park Service and Skagway itself.

Community Open House
The park visitor center re-opened from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.on June 30th for a special birthday conversation for the community of Skagway. We were able to hear people's favorite park memories and their concerns, ideas, and vision for the future of the park. Superintendent Mike Tranel shared long-term park projects, like upcoming work on the White Pass Unit and the plan for more sculptures throughout Skagway. Free gold rush centennial posters were available. If anyone missed the celebration during the day, they were able to come and sign the big birthday card later that evening and – yes – there was more free cake.
A group of rangers with balloons and a bear costume pose in front of the Jeff. Smiths Parlor.

NPS photo/ S.Muether

Last updated: June 30, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway, AK 99840


(907) 983-9200

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