Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cape Cod National Seashore Turns 50!

So what do you get a National park - umm - seashore when it turns 50?  How about months long celebrations with concerts, exhibitions, special postal cancellations, parades and even a great big birthday bash with cakes and all.  On August 7, the Cape Cod National Seashore celebrates the 50th anniversary of JFK's signing the legislation making 40 miles of Cape Cod beaches, marshes, ponds and forest into a protected part of our national park system.

The National Parks Service along with the towns where Cape Cod National Seashore resides: Provincetown, Truro, Eastham, Wellfleet, Orleans and Chatham; have scheduled several events to celebrate the protection of this beautiful area of Cape Cod.  On July 30, Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore will be hosting a benefit event at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans and an Evening of Celtic Music at the Salt Pond Visitors Center.  The Cape Cod Baseball League will have a Cape Cod National Seashore Night on July 31 at the Orleans Firebirds game.  On August 6, at the eve of the 50th anniversary, Province Land Visitors Center in Provincetown (where this whole idea got its start) will be showing Songs of a Sandy Mooring which will bring you back to Provincetown of the 1960s.

The big day, August 7, has many events planned - most all of them free.  Throughout the day there will be several ranger guided walks, some even being guided by rangers from the 1960s.  Each of the visitors centers will be the place to be at 11:30 am for concerts and performances capped off with birthday cakes and singing "Happy Birthday" to the seashore.  There will be several lighthouse tours and at 2 pm there will be National Lighthouse Day celebrations at Highland Light in Truro with the Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band and the laying of a wreath to honor lighthouse keepers and lifesavers.  In the evening you can enjoy a concert featuring soul/blues artist Shemekia Copeland at Payomet Performing Arts Center in Truro (advance tickets here).  Or if being out of doors enjoying the seashore is more your style, there will be a campfire concert at Herring Cove Beach starting at 7 pm.  For more details on all of these events check out the National Park Service's detailed program here.

The celebrations continue through the rest of the year, with a rededicating ceremony for Old Harbor at Race Point Beach in Provincetown on September 18, the Eastham Windmill Weeekend Parade on Septemeber 11 with the theme "Eastham - Gateway to Cape Cod National Seashore", and several exhibits at the Salt Pond visitors Center all the way into December.  The Cape Cod National Seashore 50th Anniversary events calendar has it all listed for your advanced trip planning.  So plan your trip to Cape Cod to coincide with this historic celebration - staying in Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet, Chatham, Orleans, or Provincetown or for other towns check out lodging.  Come join the fun!

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