National Park Service Centennial Outer Banks Events Announced

Posted By on February 23, 2016

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turns 100 years old. To celebrate the 100th birthday of America’s national parks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (NS), Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM), and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NHS), have planned many exciting programs.

The National Park Service Find Your Park centennial campaign reaches out to tomorrow’s park stewards and helps them define “park” in their own way.


Event: “Explore Your Outer Banks Parks: Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service” Exhibit

Date: March 5-December 31, 2016 (Opening night on March 4 from 5:30-7:30)

Parks: Cape Hatteras NS, Fort Raleigh NHS, Wright Brothers NMEM
Partner: Outer Banks History Center

Location: The Outer Banks History Center, 1 Festival Park Manteo, NC 27954

Event Description: In an effort to connect local residents and visitors to the Outer Banks Group of parks, we are partnering with the Outer Banks History Center (OBHC) to create an NPS Centennial Exhibit. The exhibit will highlight events from our park histories and showcase the wonderful resources our parks have to offer.

Event: Naturalization Ceremony

Date: April 16th 2016, 3 PM

Park: Wright Brothers NMEM

Location: Wright Brothers National Memorial, Visitors Center

Partners: US Customs & Immigration Service, First Flight Society

Description: The National Park Service and United States Customs and Immigration Service have a formal partnership to enhance citizenship ceremonies by holding them in national parks throughout the country. The agreement helps introduce new citizens to some of the nation’s most significant natural and cultural resources. These historic and picturesque sites provide an ideal backdrop for citizenship ceremonies, where new citizens can learn about and reflect on American identity and the responsibilities of citizenship. Hosting a naturalization ceremony at Wright Brothers would fall under the centennial “Call to Action” theme “Connecting People to Parks” by developing lifelong connections between new U.S. citizens living in urban areas between Raleigh- Durham and the Outer Banks.

Event: First Colony Foundation Archeological Dig: “Project Dogwood”

Date:  April 17 – 23rd

Parks: Fort Raleigh NHS

Location: Fort Raleigh NHS – area adjacent to earthen fort

Partner: First Colony Foundation

Event Description: The First Colony Foundation is planning an archeological dig in honor of the Centennial and the 75th anniversary of Fort Raleigh NHS. The focus of the dig will be to further investigate the “Ganz Workshop“ site adjacent to the earthen fort. This event will help us to gain knowledge about the park which will help to excite and engage new audiences about the Lost Colony.

Event: The Lost Colony Drama Centennial Dedication

Date:  May 27th   Dedication (associated event May 27th – Aug 20th)

Parks: Fort Raleigh NHS

Location: Fort Raleigh NHS, The Lost Colony Amphitheatre

Partner: Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA)

Event Description: On the opening night of The Lost Colony Drama, RIHA will be dedicating the season of the Lost Colony to the National Park Service for the Centennial and kicking off a variety of special activities.They include: changing the park facilities (visitors center, bathrooms) hours to stay open until 6:30 p.m. for play patrons to enjoy, promoting and providing Junior Ranger programs, additional programs during the afternoon visitor center hours, providing park passport stamp and centennial stamp at the Lost Colony Box office, allowing every 4th grader in free with a paying adult, having the main play narrator be a “Park Ranger,” providing centennial pins to RIHA and Lost Colony employees, promoting the NPS & Centennial in Lost Colony programs, bulletin boards, and on their website.

Event: National Aviation Day

Date: August 19th

Parks: Wright Brothers NMEM

Location: Wright Brothers National Memorial, Visitor Center

Partners: NASA, First Flight Society, USCG

Event Description: Wright Brothers National Memorial will be hosting a National Aviation Day Celebration in conjunction with the partners listed above. The focus is to celebrate the achievement that the Wright brothers had in the field of aviation. Additional focuses of the event include: displaying science-based knowledge that is used in aviation and having youth engage in hands-on learning activities. This event seeks to instill a sense of stewardship for the story and the location of what was achieved at the park and creates a lasting connection with the next generation of park visitors.

Event: Starry, Starry Night Program

Date: August 25th – National Park Service Founders Day (8:30 – 10 pm)

Parks: Cape Hatteras NS

Location: Ocracoke Day Use Area

Partners: Ocracoke Alive

Event Description: To celebrate Founders Day the public is invited to come to the Ocracoke Day Use Area to enjoy a night of stargazing and interpretation. The programming will include how to protect and enhance night sky viewing, highlight the night sky initiative the park is seeking, emphasizing the value of the night sky as a resource and general night sky education. The public is encouraged to come and picnic beforehand to enjoy the Seashore.

Event: 113th Anniversary of Controlled Powered Flight

Date:  December 17, 2016

Parks: Wright Brothers NMEM
Location: Wright Brothers National Memorial

Partners: First Flight High School, Middle & Elementary School Choir, Elizabeth City Schools, First Flight Society

Event Description: In partnership with the First Flight Society, we will celebrate the 113th Anniversary of Flight, which occurred on December 17th, 1903, at Wright Brothers National Memorial. Speakers, musicians, youth, descendants of the Wright brothers, the Smithsonian Institution, and local community members will participate.

There will be additional Centennial events announced over the next several weeks. Details of the events will be released once plans are finalized.

National Park Service 2016 Centennial


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Posted by Matt Artz

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