News Release

Grand Reopening of the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center - October 20, 2018

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 4, 2018
Contact: Mike Barber, 252-475-9032

On Saturday, October 20, Wright Brothers National Memorial will hold a grand reopening ceremony for its National Historic Landmark visitor center. The park will be open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Entrance fees will be waived on this very special day.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2001.

Starting at 9:30 am, the grand reopening ceremony will feature speeches by National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Robert Vogel and National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. After the ribbon cutting, Dare County 4th graders and their families are invited to be the first to experience the visitor center’s brand-new, interactive exhibits. The National Park Service is honoring 4th graders as the distinguished guests as part of the national Every Kid in a Park program and to promote their study of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s achievements as part of their 4th grade curriculum.  
Throughout the day, visitors are invited to explore the visitor center and to enjoy the interactive activities and exhibits on aviation, historic preservation, and STEAM-based activities (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) provided by local and regional partners.

Sneak Peek at the New Exhibits
Once inside the newly renovated visitor center, visitors will embark on a journey through the lives of Orville and Wilbur Wright, exploring their characters, diving into problems they solved and the methods they used that ultimately led to their first flight on December 17, 1903. Along the journey, visitors will also encounter people who helped and interacted with the Wrights including Katharine Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Charles Taylor, to name a few.

At a shop inspection at Formations, Inc., in Portland, Oregon, an exhibit case shows a reproduction of the Wright’s bicycle shop and interactively demonstrates how the twisting of a bicycle inner tube box inspired the concept of wing-warping.
Inside the Flight Room, visitors will once again be able to view the reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer - the flyer that made history during the first flight - along with a brand new 16-screen video wall!
Formations’ audiovisual technician Christopher Williams describes how the 16-screen video wall will function in the new visitor center at Wright Brothers National Memorial (Photo by Formations, Inc.)
After experiencing the visitor center, join National Park Service staff, and our wonderful partners for educational programs, interactive activities, and aircraft displays on the First Flight Airstrip tarmac.  
Schedule of Events
Time/s Programs and Activities Description Location
9:30 am to 10:00 am Grand Reopening Speeches and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony NPS Southeast Regional Director Robert Vogel and National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac will speak, followed by a special ribbon cutting ceremony. Entrance to the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center
10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm Wind and Sand (interpretive program) Step back in history during this short walk to the actual site of the Wright brothers’ first powered flights. Meet on the back patio of the visitor center and end at the First Flight Marker 1
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
(drop by anytime)
Camp Building and Hangar Open House (interpretive program) Learn how Wilbur and Orville Wright lived on the Outer Banks with a visit to the reconstructed buildings that help us understand how they worked, ate, and entertained themselves while learning how to fly. Camp buildings (southwest of visitor center)
10:00 am to 5 pm
(drop by anytime)
Interactive and educational exhibits focused on aviation, historic preservation and STEAM-based activities (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Activities and exhibits provided by:
  • Berlin Airlift Foundation
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Dare County MedFlight
  • Dare County Radio Control Flyers
  • Elizabeth City State University’s Mobile STEM Lab Initiative*
  • First Flight Society
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park
  • Kitty Hawk Kites
  • Military Aviation Museum
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Monitor Marine Sanctuary
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation - Aviation Division
  • North Carolina Forest Servicc
  • Outer Banks History Center
  • Outer Banks Lighthouse Society
  • Outer Banks Repeater Association
  • Rogallo Foundation
Exhibit tent across the parking lot from the visitor center.
*The  Elizabeth City State University Mobile STEM Lab Initiative will be parked at the base of Big Kill Devil Hill near First Flight Airstrip.
10:00 am - mid-afternoon
(drop by anytime)
Aircraft on Display Talk to pilots and learn about modern aircraft.  Aircraft provided by:
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Elizabeth City State University
First Flight Airstrip tarmac

Last updated: October 18, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Wright Brothers National Memorial
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


252 473-2111

Contact Us