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Special Events Across the U.S. Will Celebrate the National Park Service 100th Anniversary in August
Scranton, Pennsylvania – The National Park Service invites visitors of all ages to join in the celebration of its 100th birthday throughout the month of August. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the NPS is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque for the centennial.
“August – our birthday month – will be a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we’re inviting everyone to the party,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation’s parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!”
On Thursday, August 25, we will feature a special "Wish NPS a Happy Birthday – Create a Birthday Card" event. Visitors will create a birthday card to the NPS, which will be displayed at the park from the August 25 through the Railfest event weekend and the week following. Additionally, park visitors will receive a free NPS Arrowhead tattoo (while supplies last) on August 25 and during Railfest weekend.
Railfest 2016 Scheduled to Continue Centennial Celebration
Steamtown National Historic Site will host Railfest 2016 at the park on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 of Labor Day weekend. "Railfest is a great family-friendly event focused on our rich railroading history," said park superintendent Debbie Conway." This year's event will help commemorate two special milestones: the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the 30th anniversary of the creation of Steamtown NHS. The return of our Baldwin #26 steam locomotive to operating service this year will certainly be a focal point for Railfest 2016, and help make this Centennial and anniversary year special." The NPS site works with numerous partners to present this annual end-of-summer event, which is a celebration of railroading that features visiting railroad equipment displays – this year including a display featuring New Hampshire's Mt. Washington Cog Railway's "Peppersass" cog locomotive which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016 – special shop demonstrations and, of course, train rides on both days of the event. Special event hours are 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. each day. The park entrance fee is $7 daily for all, ages 16 and older; children age 15 and younger are admitted with an accompanying adult at no charge. Passenger excursions to Moscow, Pa. are scheduled on each event day. Each trip will operate with historic diesel locomotives, depart the Steamtown Boarding Platform at 12:30 p.m., and has a planned return to Scranton at approximately 3:00 p.m. Excursion fares are $24 for adults 16 to 61, $22 for seniors 62 and older, and $17 for children ages 6-15, and include the park's daily entrance fee. Children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult require a "no-charge" ticket. More schedule information on the event is available at www.nps.gov/stea/planyourvisit/railfest.htm.
Entrance Fees Waived for the NPS Birthday through the Weekend
Park entrance fees will be waived nationwide from August 25 through August 28 to encourage everyone to celebrate the NPS 100th birthday. Usually, 127 of the 412 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
To continue the national park adventure beyond these entrance fee free days, the $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 sites, including all national parks, throughout the year. There are also a variety of free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.
Find Your Park to Celebrate the Centennial
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations."
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that moment and to look ahead to the next 100 years, in early 2015 the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation launched the Find Your Park / Encuentra Tu Parque movement. Inspiring people from all backgrounds to celebrate and support America's national parks and community-based programs, #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m; special event hours on September 3 and 4 are 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the brown and white signs to the park entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues (GPS: N 41.41, W 75.67). General park information is available by phoning (570) 340-5200 during regular business hours, or by visiting the park website anytime at www.nps.gov/stea.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice. Find YOUR park at FindYourPark.com!