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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, (218) 283-6670
On April 8, 1975, Voyageurs National Park was authorized as the nation’s 36th national park. This year marks the park’s 35th anniversary. Throughout the year the park and its partners are remembering the past and celebrating the future with an array of 35 special activities available to the public. These activities are for all ages and encourage visitors to come and experience Voyageurs National Park.
The activities kicked off with a Free Ski Rental Day in January and a Full Moon Hike in February. Below is a list of activities for the remainder of the year. Come out and enjoy your park!
Thirty-fifth Anniversary Display
A special anniversary display at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center will open on April 1, 2010 and will be on display throughout the year. Free.
Voyageurs National Park Book Display at the International Falls Public Library
Visit the International Falls Public Library to view and read intriguing books about Voyageurs National Park. The display can be viewed from April 1 through April 30, 2010. Free.
Photo Display at the International Falls Public Library
Visit the International Falls Public Library to view photos of Voyageurs National Park. The large screen monitor display will run photos from April 1 through April 30, 2010. Free.
Thirty-fifth Anniversary Open House for the Public and Former & Current Park Employees
To commemorate the park’s anniversary, an open house for the public will be held at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Come meet and greet former and current employees of Voyageurs National Park on Thursday, April 8, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cake and refreshments sponsored by Voyageurs National Park Association. Free.
National Park Week School Programs
Park naturalist, Kim Reich, will be visiting area schools during National Park Week, April 18-25, 2010. Her presentation includes a look at our nation’s first national park, Yellowstone, and from there will venture north, south, east, and west.
Ken Burns Film
Come and view the Ken Burns Film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This six-part series will be shown each night starting Sunday, April 18 through Friday, April 23, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Popcorn and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by Voyageurs National Park Association. Free.
National Park Week Open House and Art Contest Awards Ceremony
Help kick-off National Park Week at Voyageurs National Park during an open house at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2010. The park will offer activities and honor the winners of the annual Kids Art Contest. A special costumed presentation of the Life of a Voyageur will be presented following the awards ceremony. Cake and refreshments sponsored by Voyageurs National Park Association. Free. Download a complete schedule of open house activities (PDF).
U.S. Postage Cancellation Stamp
The International Falls’ United States Post Office (USPS) will offer a special 35th anniversary postage cancellation station at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center during Voyageurs’ National Park Week Open House on Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Get your mail stamped with this special cancellation. Bring your own stamps or purchase them on site.
Minnesota Governor’s 2010 Fishing Opener on Kabetogama Lake
Join the National Park Service in celebrating the Governor's Fishing Opener and the 35th anniversary of the park on Friday, May 14, 2010. The public is invited to the Governor's Fishing Opener Community Picnic. Participants can play voyageur games, and paddle back in time aboard a 26-foot North Canoe. The picnic and activities run from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. Sign up for the canoe trips begins at 4:00 p.m. Space is limited. Free.
Grand Opening – Jefferson National Parks Association Bookstores
Jefferson National Parks Association (JNPA) became Voyageurs National Park’s newest partner in February, 2010. JNPA will operate and maintain the three bookstores within Voyageurs. Join JNPA and Voyageurs in celebrating this new partnership and the park’s 35th anniversary by stopping by a visitor center to browse the new bookstores on Saturday, May 22, 2010.
A public amateur photography contest will occur throughout the 35th anniversary summer season at Voyageurs National Park. Participants may submit one photograph in each of three separate categories, to be judged by the public at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center throughout September. Winners will be announced in October. Prizes sponsored by Voyageurs National Park Association. Free.
Visitor Center Kids’ Corners
Voyageurs National Park visitor centers have always had “kids’ corners” containing activities and puzzles for kids. This year, new activities will be available at each visitor center to help kids understand the significance of the park’s 35th anniversary. Free.
Take a Virtual Tour of a Visitor Destination via Podcasts
Visitors can virtually tour Little American Island, Kettle Falls, Ellsworth Rock Gardens, and Hoist Bay by checking out a portable media player featuring podcasts of these locations. Podcasts are available starting Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the park’s three visitor centers, the Kettle Falls Hotel, and aboard the Otter and Voyageur tour boats. A valid driver’s license is required for check-out. Free.
Voyageurs National Park Scavenger Hunt and Commemorative National Park Service Passport Cancellation Stamp
Visitors are encouraged to explore the park by going to all three park visitor centers and completing unique scavenger hunts at each location. This activity starts Saturday, May 22 and runs through Saturday, September 25, 2010. Once visitors complete all three scavenger hunts, they may stamp their National Park Service (NPS) passport or other souvenir with a special 35-year commemorative NPS cancellation stamp. Free.
Summer Special Speaker Series
Join, park naturalist, Kathleen Przybylski, for a presentation on the park and its history. The program is held at the Woodenfrog Refectory in Kabetogama from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check the park’s website in May for dates and a program listing. Free.
Midwest Mountaineering Expo
Join park naturalist, Kathleen Przybylski, for a PowerPoint presentation on the park and its history at the Midwest Mountaineering Expo in the Twin Cities. Free.
Starwatch Cruises on Rainy Lake
To commemorate the park’s 35th anniversary, Voyageurs is hosting a series of Starwatch Cruises aboard the Voyageur tour boat on Rainy Lake. There are 4 cruises offered on July 11, July 25, August 2 and August 15, 2010 from 10:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Call (888) 381-2873 for a reservation. Fees apply.
Fourth of July Parade
View the Voyageurs National Park 35th Anniversary float in the annual International Falls Fourth of July parade. Free.
Voyageurs Adventures for Kids Program
The Voyageurs Adventures for Kids program kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on July 6, 2010 at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. This program will be offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays through August 20, 2010. Free.
North Canoe Programs
Join Voyageurs National Park in celebrating its 35th anniversary by experiencing the area the way the voyageurs did – by North Canoe. From 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Ash River Visitor Center (July 7 - August 11, 2010), park naturalists dressed as voyageurs will be your hosts. Just like the real voyageurs, everyone works together to paddle the large 26-foot North Canoes around the lake. North Canoe programs are also available at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. To celebrate the 35th anniversary, North Canoe programs will be free-of-charge all summer. Download the park newspaper (PDF) for a complete program schedule.
Lady Slipper Festival
Join the National Park Service and the community of Kabetogama at the annual Lady Slipper Festival. Voyageurs National Park will offer activities for all ages at the festival. Free.
Kids in Parks Program
Voyageurs National Park will host one lucky student and his/her family for a weekend in the park in July. The winner will be selected in April from the National Park Week Kids Art Contest. In July, the winning family will accompany a park ranger to learn about the work they do, and will also join in on the various ranger programs available to the public. Maybe you'll see them during your visit! Free.
College for Kids
Voyageurs National Park will be offering a class this summer at Rainy River Community College’s annual “College for Kids” program. Join park naturalist, Matt Holly, on an adventure to learn about the Earth’s geology by exploring volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, geysers, and other features found in our national parks. Free.
Evening Campfires at Rainy Lake Visitor Center
Join park staff as they celebrate the park’s 35th anniversary with a host of evening campfires this summer. The one-hour programs are held at 7:00 p.m. outside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center on Thursdays from July 8 through August 12, 2010. Free.
Join park staff for special North Canoes rides during the Ranier Days festival on August 14,2010. Rides start at 1:00 p.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. Free.
Kettle Falls Special Program
Join park naturalist and area native, Gary Whipple, for a special Voyageurs National Park 35th anniversary program on August 7, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30p.m. at the Kettle Falls Hotel. Gary will share the story of Kettle Falls and the surrounding area, both before and after the park was established. Free.
Voyageur Days Festival
Join Voyageurs National Park and the community of Crane Lake at the Voyageur Days Festival on September 4, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and paddle a 26-foot North Canoe. Free.
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day encourages people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the nation’s public lands. On Saturday, September 25, 2010 visitors are invited to celebrate Voyageurs National Park’s 35th anniversary by hiking the Oberholtzer Trail with a park naturalist. This one-hour hike begins just outside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m. Free.
Voyageurs National Park Association Anniversary Event
Voyageurs National Park Association (VNPA), a nonprofit park partner that played a key role in getting the park established, is celebrating 45 years of protecting and promoting the park’s natural, recreational, and historic resources. VNPA will host an anniversary event in the Twin Cities area in 2010, details to be determined. Visit www.voyageurs.org for more information.
Fall Volunteer Rendezvous
Each fall, Voyageurs National Park partners with the Voyageurs National Park Association (VNPA) to conduct a volunteer project within the park. If you are interested in finding out more or in participating in the project, contact VNPA at (612) 333-5424. Free.
Fall Environmental Education Programs
Voyageurs National Park will be presenting environmental education programs to pre-school through sixth grade students this fall at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. To inquire about having your school come and participate, call (218) 283-6670. Sponsored in part by Voyageurs National Park Association. Free.
Movie Day at Voyageurs National Park
Join park staff for a family friendly movie on Sunday, October 3, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Popcorn and refreshments are provided. Sponsored by the Friends of Voyageurs National Park. Free.
Movie Day at Voyageurs National Park
Join park staff for a family friendly movie on Sunday, November 7, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Popcorn and refreshments are provided. Sponsored by the Friends of Voyageurs National Park. Free.
Voyageurs National Park – Celebrating 35 years!