School groups and families are invited to join Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Gerard Baker and Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien April 30 for a Junior Ranger Day parade along the Mount Rushmore Avenue of Flags, a program in the amphitheater and an exploration of the park and the Presidential Trail. Parade Marshal, Jasmine Pickner, will demonstrate a traditional Lakota hoop dance at the entrance of the park at 9:30 a.m. to recognize our unity with each other and with the Earth. Jasmine will team with the Ateyapi Dancers from General Beadle Elementary School as representatives of the First Nations to lead a children's parade of bicycles, wagons and scooters decorated by students from Corral Drive Elementary School to represent the many countries of the world who came to call America home. Following a Multicultural Expo and group portrait on the Grand View Terrace, the children, teachers and families will join in the program "We the people" in the amphitheater for a demonstration of the words, music and dance of diverse countries of origin. Joyce Jefferson will present first-person historical interpretation as she portrays Kathryn Reynolds, an African American homesteader. The children from Seventh Day Adventist School will play the National Anthem on chimes. National Park Service rangers will host explorations of the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, the Presidential Trail and the historic Sculptor's Studio throughout the afternoon as students, teachers and families explore the park and learn how to preserve our natural and cultural heritage for future generations.
Coolers may be brought into the park so that students can eat sack lunches in the amphitheater after the program and before they explore the park. Carvers Café will also be open for meals.
This is the third year that National Junior Ranger Day is being celebrated nationwide as a part of National Park Week. The National Park Service Junior Ranger program is designed to engage children and families in the stories embodied in their national parks. Because Mount Rushmore represents the history of our county, Junior Ranger Day will share the stories of our diverse cultures and their contributions to our national story.
There is no admission fee to the park. There is a $10.00 vehicle parking fee at Presidential Parking, Inc. Please contact Rhonda Schier, Education Specialist, 605-574-3134 or firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations to attend and to apply for bus parking fee scholarships through the Mount Rushmore History Association for education groups.
In case of bad weather, a back-up day for the event is scheduled for Thursday, May 7.