The final "entrance-fee-free" weekend of the year is coming to the National Park System this weekend, giving you another excuse (if you need one) to get out and visit a park.
The free pass, as it were, is in honor of America's veterans. It begins Friday, the 11th, and runs through Sunday, the 13th.
“America’s national parks have close ties to all those who have served, or are serving, in the military,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “There are dozens of national parks that commemorate battles fought on American soil. Veterans Day weekend is the perfect time to visit a place like Yorktown, Gettysburg, or Pearl Harbor and pay tribute to those who have served.
"Our country’s 397 national parks also preserve iconic symbols, including the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, and Mount Rushmore, and places of great beauty, such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, that have inspired generations of troops with national pride.”
Some of the special events taking place this weekend include:
* A U.S. Navy Band concert at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana.
* Living history military encampments at Fort Moultrie and Kings Mountain National Military Park, both in South Carolina, Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, and Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.
* Living history Revolutionary War soldiers at Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey.
* The Avenue of Flags at Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia.
A complete list of events by park or state is available at www.nps.gov
In 2012, the Park Service will offer fee free days on January 14 to 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend), April 21 to 29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), September 29 (National Public Lands Day), and November 10 to 12 (Veterans Day weekend).