March 24, 2003
Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130
Superintendent Linda L. Stoll announced Monday plans to commemorate the park’s centennial over the weekend of June 13 – 15, 2003, with free tours, special presentations, an employee reunion, and a celebratory banquet.
The weekend begins with a historic campfire program Friday evening at 9 p.m. in the park’s campground amphitheater. Saturday, there will be free cave tours from 8:40 a.m. until 6 p.m. Outside the Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday, there will be American Indian and mountain man cultural demonstrations plus wildland firefighting and cave exploring activities. Sunday morning there will also be a Volksmarch along the Lookout Point Trail.
Free shuttle buses on Saturday and Sunday will allow the use of a nearby overflow parking area.
The weekend’s highlight will be the Centennial Banquet held under tents near the park’s campground and featuring state and national dignitaries. The keynote speakers will be a “visit” from President Theodore Roosevelt, signer of the park’s enabling legislation, and Kevin Locke, noted Lakota musician, storyteller, and hoop dancer. Reservations for the dinner are required. Call the park at 605/745-4600 for reservation information or visit their website at www.nps.gov/wica/. The deadline for submitting reservations is April 30.
Throughout the summer, the Visitor Center will host an art show and special exhibits celebrating the park’s hundred years. Stoll added, “Strong local backing is one of the reasons Wind Cave became a national park. We would like to thank the surrounding towns for their support, and we hope they will join our celebration the second weekend in June.”