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Contact: Cristy Brown, 970-529-4608
Mesa Verde National Park invites the public to help kick off the National Park Service Centennial with two special evenings in December. On Wednesday, December 9, the staff of Mesa Verde National Park welcomes photographers to capture the illumination of Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in the park, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, December 10, 2015, Mesa Verde National Park will host the 2015 Annual Holiday Open House from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in the Chapin Mesa headquarters area. Both events are free and open to the public.
December 9 will mark the first time Cliff Palace has been lit since 2006. At Sun Temple, visitors can view Cliff Palace illuminated from across the narrow canyon. Rangers will be present to answer any questions.
On December 10, the annual holiday celebration will feature musical entertainment and refreshments. Farolitos will glow along the pathways throughout the headquarters area and around Sun Temple Overlook. Both Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House will be illuminated, and can be viewed from Sun Temple Overlook and the rim of Spruce Tree Canyon, respectively. Visitors should plan to park at the old Far View Visitor Center parking lot. Free shuttle buses will take visitors from the Far View area to Chapin Mesa Museum and Sun Temple Overlook. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Visitors are discouraged from bringing camera stabilization devices to Sun Temple Overlook on December 10.
The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum will remain open until 9:00 p.m. There will be musical entertainment as follows:
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum Auditorium
5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Blue Jazz Band, Mancos School District
5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Yvonne Bilinski, Storyteller, Fort Lewis College
6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Southwest Singers, Cortez, Colorado
7:10 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Lee Bartley, Pianist, Mancos, Colorado
Chief Ranger’s Office back porch
6:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. David Nighteagle, Flute, Cortez, Colorado
6:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. David Nighteagle, Flute, Cortez, Colorado
7:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. David Nighteagle, Flute, Cortez, Colorado
7:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. David Nighteagle, Flute, Cortez, Colorado
A night sky program will be offered from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., dependent on clear skies. Learn about the celestial bodies and the importance of astronomy in Native American agriculture.
The non-profit Mesa Verde Museum Association (MVMA) Museum bookstore will be open highlighting the sale of books, posters, puppets, historic photographs, and great holiday gifts as well as in-store specials. Bring your gift list along to take advantage of this special occasion. Proceeds benefit Mesa Verde National Park.
Chili, hot chocolate and holiday cookies will be provided at the Spruce Tree Terrace.
Mesa Verde National Park would like to thank Cortez City Market and Aramark Sports and Entertainment for providing refreshments. In addition, we would also like to thank the Mesa Verde Museum Association, the Mesa Verde Foundation and our volunteers for event support.
No park entrance fee will be charged after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2015. Mark your calendar and plan to join us in the park festivities! For further information, please contact the park at 970-529-4465.