GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On Aug. 25 the National Park Service (NPS) turns 100 years old. To celebrate, Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is waiving entrance fees August 25-28.
To join in on the centennial celebration, visitors can explore Centennial Central, visit the Amtrak Trails and Rails Exhibit and attend free ranger programs. Grand Canyon will also host a naturalization ceremony for new United States citizens on August 25. All centennial events are free and open to the public.
At the South Rim Train Depot, visitors can stop by Centennial Central from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25 to 27 and Amtrak Trails and Rails Exhibit Aug. 25-28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Centennial Central will feature fun and interactive booths from local organizations and park partners. At 1:30 p.m. on the 25th free birthday cake will be available at Centennial Central. Other food and beverage will be available for purchase.
Step aboard to see model trains and explore the Amtrak Trails and Rails exhibit to learn about the importance of railroads in the NPS's 100 year history. For the youngest rail fans, stop off at Chugginton Depot, featuring toy train and coloring tables. More information about the Amtrak Trails and Rails is available at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/amtraktrailsandrails/index.htm.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is teaming up with the NPS to welcome 15 new U.S. citizens representing 12 countries. The ceremony is scheduled to take place Aug. 25th at 10 a.m. at Mather Point Amphitheater. In honor of the NPS Centennial, USCIS has partnered with the NPS to hold more than 100 naturalization ceremonies on national park sites during 2016. More information about the naturalization ceremony is available from Maria Elena Upson, USCIS Public Affairs Officer at (602) 462-2503 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Park ranger programs will be available during the centennial celebration, including history and geology programs, fossil walks and condor talks. More information about ranger-led walks and talks is available at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ranger-program.htm. At Desert View, cultural demonstrators will showcase their pieces of hand crafted artwork from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The North Rim Visitor Center will be hosting a birthday party in celebration of the Centennial. More information of scheduled events is available at the visitor centers.
Fee-free designation does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours or use of concessions. Park entrance stations will have Interagency Senior and Annual Passes available for those who wish to purchase them. Those who plan to spend time in the park beyond Aug. 28 will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.
The NPS will continue celebrating its centennial year with additional fee-free days on Sept. 24 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 for Veterans Day. More information about NPS fee-free days is available at https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm and more information about visiting Grand Canyon National Park is available at visit www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit.
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