Great Smokies Rededication Ceremony!

I just received a message from Friends of the Smokies about acquiring tickets to the park rededication ceremony next month, in celebration of the Park’s 75th Anniversary.  I’m sure it will be a grand event!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
News Release

Immediate Release Contact: Nancy Gray 865/436-1208
Date: August 18, 2009

PUBLIC INVITED TO SMOKIES REDEDICATION CEREMONY

The public is invited to attend, on a first-come, first-serve basis, the 75th Anniversary Rededication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, along with a host of dignitaries and distinguished guests, including the Park’s 75th Anniversary Ambassador Dolly Parton. The ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. and will end around 1 p.m., but because of the logistical challenges associated with transportation, guests should
expect to devote a full day to this activity. People will depart by bus as early as 8 a.m. and should plan on returning no earlier than 3 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at Newfound Gap.

Park officials have identified a 2,000-person capacity for the event at Newfound Gap. All attendees will be transported by charter busses to the site from satellite locations outside the Park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Cherokee, N.C. Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) between Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Cherokee, N.C. will be closed from 8 p.m., September 1, to 6 p.m., September 2.

There is a limited number of seats available to the public and these are being assigned in the order that they are received. Requests will be taken until capacity is reached or no later than Monday, August 24. A special email address has been set up for ticket requests, i.e., GRSMComments@nps.gov. Up to four tickets can be requested by one individual. The requester will receive a reply to be followed later by a confirming email once ticket availability has been determined. The following information must be received to obtain tickets: 1) Your Name, First and Last, and the Full Name of Your Guests (up to four individuals); 2) Mailing Address; 3) Telephone Number; 4) from which location will you depart—Cherokee or Pigeon Forge; 5) how many vehicles in your party; and 6) (if applicable), are you confined to a wheelchair and require a bus with a wheelchair lift?

For those who do not have access to email, people can call 865 436-7318, ext. 258 and leave a message with their name and a telephone number. They will in turn receive a return phone call. While a telephone option is offered, the email system by far is the most efficient way to contact the Park to request tickets.

“We have done our best to reach out to a cross section of people to share this moment in the Park’s history,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “We are excited about the program that will mirror the original 1940 dedication and especially pleased to have all of our special guests and impressive slate of dignitaries together to celebrate the Park’s 75th anniversary.”

Dignitaries who will take part in the event include: North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen; U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan from North Carolina and Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and all three Congressmen whose districts include the Park, Heath Shuler of
North Carolina and John J. Duncan, Jr. and Phil Roe of Tennessee.

-NPS-

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