Workers were busy preparing the grounds at El Tovar last weekend in antici-pation of today’s grand reopening.
Closed since Jan. 1, El Tovar hotel and dining room reopen following a $4.6 million renovation.
Exhibits and programs will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Park Superintendent Joe Alston will join Xanterra officials for a ribbon-cutting and ceremony marking the reopening of El Tovar at 11 a.m. on the famous hotel’s front porch.
Other events include:
• Display of Fred Harvey Co. and Mary Jane Elizabeth Colter memorabilia presented by the Winslow Harvey Girls, Bright Angel History Room, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Tom Ratz presents “El Tovar History and Memorabilia,” a discussion of the hotel’s early days and examination of Ratz’ personal collection of historical material, El Tovar private dining room, 8-10 a.m.
• Grand Canyon Village walking tours start at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. from El Tovar’s flagpole. The hour long tours highlight the Canyon’s natural and human history.
• Al Richmond presents “Grand Canyon Railway History,” highlighting the role the railway played in the development of South Rim tourism, 10 a.m., meeting at the railway depot.
• Grand Canyon artist Bruce Aiken discusses art history and the El Tovar at 10 a.m. in the El Tovar lobby. He will discuss early-day Canyon artists including Thomas Moran, Louis Akin and Gunnar Widforss, and their relationship to El Tovar.
• Jewelry-making demonstration by three generations of Native American silversmiths; Verkamp’s Curio Shop, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• U.S. postal workers will hand-cancel postage and other materials with a specially designed centennial cancellation stamp, El Tovar, noon-4 p.m.
• Traditional Native American dance performances, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Hopi House dance platform.
• Book signings, 1 - 4 p.m., El Tovar lobby. Authors include Christine Barnes (“Great Lodges of the National Parks,” “Hopi House: Celebrating 100 Years” and “El Tovar: Celebrating 100 Years”), Al Richmond (“Cowboys, Miners, Presidents and Kings: The Story of the Grand Canyon Railway”), Arnold Berke (“Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest”) and Tom Myers (“Death in the Grand Canyon”).
• Split twig figurine workshop, 3 p.m., Hopi House dance platform. Historian Dennis Reason will show participants how to create a split twig figurine and will discuss the history and significance of the 4,000-year-old Grand Canyon artifact.
• Grand Canyon art history lecture with local artist Bruce Aiken as he discusses the history of Canyon art from archaic Native American wall paintings to today’s contemporary artists, 4 p.m., Thunderbird Room, Thunderbird Lodge.
• Ranger programs, throughout the day.
The centennial events are open to the general public. For more information about the El Tovar and Hopi House centennial celebration, call 638-263.