Zion National Park to Mark 100th Birthday This Friday

Find yourself in Zion National Park this Friday and you can help celebrate the park's centennial. NPS photo.

If you've already made plans to be in Zion National Park this coming Friday you'll be able to join in celebrating the park's 100th birthday. And if you haven't made plans, think about altering your schedule.

On Friday the park well enjoy a day of special events to commemorate the 100 years since the original establishment of the park as Mukuntuweap National Monument on July 31, 1909. The day of celebration will begin with a ceremony at the Grotto in Zion Canyon at 9:30 am. That event will be preceded by musical entertainment by a brass quintet from the 23rd Army Band. The colors will be presented by the 2nd of the 222 Field Artillery Color Guard. Speakers will include National Park Service Intermountain Region Deputy Director Laura Joss; Zion Superintendent Jock Whitworth; Director of the Utah Office of Tourism Leigh von der Esch; Springdale Mayor Pat Cluff and special guest J.L. Crawford. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the rehabilitated Grotto, the oldest building in the park, will be dedicated. There will be an opportunity to tour the tour the building after the dedication.

Southern Paiute Traditional Dancers will perform on the grounds of the Zion Lodge at 1 p.m., and the U.S. Postal Service will be offering special centennial postmarks from 2 pm. to 5 p.m. at the park visitors center in Zion Canyon as well as the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. The day's festivities will wrap up with a performance by a string sextet from the Chamber Music Society of Southern Utah on the Zion Lodge lawn beginning at 8 p.m.

Throughout the day, of course, there will be children's games and activities at the Zion Nature Center.

Park entrance fees will be waived for the day's events.