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Contact: National Park Service, 252-473-2111 x148
National Park Service summer programs at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore will start on Friday, May 28, 2010. A wide variety of programs will be offered daily through Labor Day. Also, on May 28 the visitor centers at those three parks will begin summer hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
New programs for this summer include: Civil War on the Outer Banks – offered at Bodie, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Islands on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and The Civil War Battle of Roanoke Island offered at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. As a prelude to the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015), these programs detail pivotal Outer Banks battles that helped secure Union victory. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is also offering a new program, Voice through the Air, on the early wireless radio experiments of Reginald Fessenden that took place on Roanoke Island in 1901.
Three special tours will be offered this summer: Coast Guard Station Tour will provide an up-close look at Coast Guard operations and vessels at Oregon Inlet and Hatteras stations; Old Days at the Hatteras Weather Station relays the history of this recently restored building and U.S. Weather Bureau operations on Hatteras Island; and Night Climb – a guided night tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offered twice every Thursday evening (a pre-registration program – see the park website for details).
Evening Campfire programs are offered at the Seashore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A special Seashore evening program, Night Lights, will include an exploration of star gazing and tide-line bioluminescent plankton along with a discussion of why dark nights are valuable to both people and wildlife.
The summer program schedules also include many other history talks, nature walks, and recreational programs such as surf fishing, cast netting, crabbing, seining, and snorkeling.
Program schedules are available on-line at each park’s website: Fort Raleigh NHS, www.nps.gov/fora; Wright Brothers NMEM, www.nps.gov/wrbr; and Cape Hatteras NS, www.nps.gov/caha. Program schedules are also listed in In the Park, the National Park Service Outer Banks summer newspaper, available at any park visitor center and Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Welcome Center starting May 28.
The Full Moon Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will also return this year on June 26, July 26, Aug. 24, and Sept. 23 – watch for details to be announced!
This year’s summer program schedule will start more than two weeks earlier than it has in previous years due to the National Park Service Centennial Initiative funding received by the parks for additional seasonal interpretive ranger positions. With this funding, the parks will be providing 290 programs per week to Outer Banks visitors. Centennial Initiative funding was provided to national park sites this year to help restore natural and cultural landscapes, provide outstanding educational and recreational opportunities for park visitors and prepare the parks for the upcoming centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.