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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – The holiday season at Wind Cave National Park this year will include an open house and Christmas bird count. The park’s annual holiday open house will occur on Tuesday, December 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the visitor center. Light refreshments will be served, and students from the Hot Springs’ third grade will sing carols at 2 p.m. The Visitor Center Christmas Tree will be adorned with decorations provided by the students.
“I encourage everyone to stop by the park and enjoy some holiday songs and food while mingling with our staff,” said new park superintendent Vidal Davila. “I look forward to meeting people from the surrounding area and joining the staff in wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season.”
The public will be able to view park exhibits and browse through the visitor center’s bookstore which is operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association. Garden of Eden Tours will also be offered, as they are throughout the winter, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The park’s thirteenth annual Christmas Bird Count will be held on Sunday, December 16. This event is patterned after the National Audubon Society’s effort to document trends in wintering birdlife throughout the United States. The count area will include all of Wind Cave National Park and areas of the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park.
People wishing to participate should meet at the park’s visitor center at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to dress warmly, bring a lunch, field guides and binoculars, something to share for dinner and a place setting. Participants will return to the park’s VIP Center at 4:15 p.m. to compile results and share in a potluck dinner. For more information, contact Barb Muenchau or Dan Roddy at 745-4600.
The visitor center and cave will be closed on Christmas and New Years to allow staff to celebrate the holidays with their families. Throughout the remainder of the winter, the visitor center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.