National Park Service Celebrates 100th Birthday

August 10, 2016

For its centennial, the National Park Service is encouraging people to get outside and visit any of the national parks for free from August 25-28.

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and they are inviting visitors of all ages to join in the celebration throughout the month of August! With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the National Park Service is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque for the centennial!

To get you started, NPS has gathered a sampling of special programs taking place (listed below). And there are hundreds of other events across the country! Just visit or to learn what is happening in your areas.

Get up, get out there, and find your park!

Engaging Diverse Audiences and the Next Generation

  • 7/30 – 8/6 American Solar Challenge (OH, IN, MO, KS, NE, SD): College competition racing solar-powered vehicles on a route through nine national parks from Ohio to South Dakota.
  • 8/2 – 8/4 Yosemite Youth Summit (CA): Gathering of 100 youth program participants for stewardship projects, share their experiences and open dialogue on National Park Service youth engagement.
  • 8/4 – 8/18 Music in the American Wild (multiple locations): Premiere classical music performances by university students from the Eastman School of Music in seven national parks – San Juan Island, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic.
  • 8/25 Sing Across America (multiple locations): Performances by youth and children’s choirs for the centennial, including event at Yellowstone National Park.
  • 8/25 Naturalization Ceremonies (multiple locations): National Park Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold naturalization ceremonies in seven national parks: Biscayne National Park, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trial, Grand Canyon National Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
  • 8/28 – 9/4 Explorer to Explorer with International Space Station (OR): Girl Scout and Boy Scout youth from the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park community will speak at the park with an astronaut onboard the International Space Station. Specific date TBD during the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4 based on the position of the Space Station. Part of the ARISS or Amateur Radio International Space Station project.

Bringing Parks to the People

  • NPS Centennial Celebrations at MLB & AAA Baseball Games
  • 8/7 Public Lands Night at the Albuquerque Isotopes (NM) Celebration of New Mexico public lands with the local AAA team.
  • 8/18 NPS Centennial Night at Cincinnati Reds (OH)
  • 8/25 Washington Nationals Baseball (DC): Washington Nationals honor National Park Service Centennial.
  • 8/25 National Park Night at the Diamond (VA): Richmond Flying Squirrels AA baseball honors the National Park Service centennial with Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.
  • 8/25 Norfolk Tides (VA): Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.
  • 8/27 National Park Service Night at St. Louis Cardinals (MO)
  • 8/27 Vintage Baseball (KS): The Wichita Bull Stockings and the Topeka Westerns play 1870s style baseball with vintage uniforms and vintage rules at Fort Scott National Historic Site.
  • 8/28 Lynchburg Hillcats (VA): NPS Centennial Celebration
  • 8/22 Find Your Park Exchange Event (NY): Family-friendly festival bringing the innovative spirit of Thomas Edison National Historical Park to New York City and its iconic skyline.
  • 8/25 Find Your Park on Fremont Street Las Vegas (NV): Find Your Park videos and digital displays will play throughout the evening on 1500’x90’ digital display as part of the Fremont Street Experience, in partnership with Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Making History

  • 8/13 “Ho’oku’ikahi” Hawaiian Cultural Festival (HI): Celebrate the National Park Service 100th and the 225th anniversary of the completion of the temple with Hawaiian arts and crafts at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
  • 8/13 Rosie Rally (CA): Second annual rally of hundreds of women honoring Rosie the Riveter at Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA.
  • 8/21 Niagara Movement Pilgrimage (WV): Retrace the footsteps of women and men of Niagara (now NAACP) at Storer College at Historically Black College and University in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
  • 8/25 An Evening at the Arch: Yellowstone Celebrates the National Park Service (WY): Yellowstone National Park and its partners will host a very special Centennial event to kick off the second century of the National Park Service, highlight the importance of public/private partnerships, and recognize the completion of the Gardiner Gateway Project (Phase One).
  • 8/25 Huna Tribal House Grand Opening (AK): Park and tribal partners celebrate the opening of a traditional building with a festival at Glacier Bay National Park.
  • 8/25 Time Capsule at First Light (NV): Time capsule burial and “First Light” for the Great Basin National Park Observatory. Special guest speaker and astronomy programs.

Celebrating Together

  • 8/6 Ice Age National Scenic Trail / John Muir Centennial Event (WI): Festival with children’s art exhibit, workshops, hikes and poetry recitation by Wisconsin State Poet Laureate.
  • 8/20 Parks in the Pines Birthday Bash (AZ):National and State Parks of Arizona will host joint celebration and public fair in Flagstaff with the Arizona Office of Tourism.
  • 8/20 Mount Rushmore Find Your Park Festival (SD): Festival spotlighting the national parks of South Dakota and the 75th anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore with entertainment, ranger programs and activities held in the Rapid City Main Street Square.
  • 8/20 Confluence Festival (WV): Music festival including rock, bluegrass, folk music celebrating music heritage and national parks at Harpers Ferry National Park.
  • 8/20 Festival of the Sea (CA): A full day of music and fun along the San Francisco waterfront to celebrate the NPS Centennial.Hosted by San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, this free event will also feature the re-christening of the 1895 West Coast schooner C.A. Thayer.
  • 8/20 Hike 100 Challenge with the Superintendent (TN): Great Smoky Mountains National Park is challenging you to hike 100 miles for the centennial. As part of the challenge, on August 20 the park’s superintendent will lead a nature hike open to the public.
  • 8/25 – 8/28 Grand Canyon National Park Founders Day Celebration (AZ): Park-wide celebration with food, special programs, train exhibit, naturalization ceremony and concert.
  • 8/27 Centennial Family Festival on the National Mall (DC):The national park in the heart of the nation’s capital will host a family fun day at Constitution Gardens in celebration of the National Park Service 100th anniversary.
  • 8/27 – 8/28 Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Mitchell State Park Centennial Celebration (NC): The North Carolina State Park System is also celebrating its centennial! Mount Mitchell State Park, the state’s inaugural park, was founded on August 26, 1916 – the day after President Wilson signed the legislation creating the National Park Service. Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Mitchell State Park will host a joint centennial celebration.
  • 8/29 National Parks Day at the Minnesota State Fair (MN): Mississippi National River and Recreation Area along with other Minnesota national parks will take over Carousel Park at the State Fair Grounds for special programming and activities.