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Passport Picks for Fall

Fall is a great time to experience America’s national parks! Cooler temperatures, beautiful Fall foliage, and a variety of programs and events are great reasons to grab your Passport book and experience the parks! We’ve put together this short list of events happening in parks across the system- check the National Park Service website to find events at parks near you.

VETERANS DAY
Enjoy the last fee-free day of the year on November 11th. Many parks will hold special events honoring America’s veterans. Details here.

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Star Party at Mojave N PRES

LOCAL FESTIVALS & EVENTS
1. Experience Springfield Armory NHS and all other 14 Massachusetts national parks at “The Big E,” the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, from 9/12-28. Details here.
2. If you’re a rock climber, you’ll love the Idaho Mountain Festival, 9/25-28, at City of Rocks National Reserve. Contests, live music, and giveaways will be sure to excite visitors. Details here.
3. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act at Mojave National Preserve on 11/1. Mojave Fest 2014 will feature special programs, Native American crafts and ceremonial dancing, and a star party. Details here.

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Fall foliage at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP

NATURE
1. Behold the glory of New England’s Fall foliage at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP on 10/4, 11, and 13, for a special three-hour walking tour. Details here.
2. Calling all amateur paleontologists! Don’t miss National Fossil Day on 10/15 at Agate Fossil Beds NM. A special Junior Ranger badge will be available, and visitors can explore the park’s historic excavation sites and trace fossils. Details here.
3. Celebrate Sleeping Bear Dunes NL’s 44th anniversary by attending a Star Party on 10/21. Other dates are available as well. Details here.

MUSIC
1. Enjoy authentic Hispanic food, festive music, traditional dances, arts and crafts, and a children’s carnival at La Fiesta En El Parque, on 10/4 at Jimmy Carter NHS. Details here.
2. San Francisco Maritime NHP will hold a series of sea music concerts, on 9/20, 10/25, and 11/15, aboard the historic ship Baclutha at Hyde Street Pier. Visitors will experience the driving rhythms of chanteys and the beauty of seafaring ballads, for the 26th consecutive year. Details here.
3. Experience Brazilian Jazz at Saint Paul’s Church NHS on 11/6, with the sounds of The Janet Grice Trio. Details here.

KIDS
1. A unique educational experience awaits students during Home School Day at Valley Forge NHP on 10/8. Rangers and volunteers will bring history to life through interactive learning stations and hands-on activities. Details here.
2. Kids will have an opportunity to learn to make Native American coiled pottery at Ocmulgee NM during a special children’s craft program on 10/25 and 26. Details here.
3. White Sands NM is offering a special program entitled Crafty Kids, on multiple days, 11/26-30. Rangers will share surprising facts about the creepy crawlers, amazing adapters, and out-of-this-world geology of White Sands while guiding kids through a take-home craft project. Details here.

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Apple orchards at Hopewell Furnace NHS.

CULINARY
1. Experience chocolate as you never have at Cumberland Gap NHP on 10/11-12. Learn how it’s made and share its evolution. Sponsored by Mars Chocolate North America and American Heritage Chocolate. Details here.
2. Step back in time, and learn the time-honored tradition of preserving harvest time apples by making cider during a special event at Harpers Ferry NHP on 10/18-19. Details here.
3. Pick your own pesticide-free, organic apples at Hopewell Furnace NHS from their historic apple orchard, many of which are heirloom varieties. Early September through October. Contact the park for details: (610) 582-8773.

SEASONAL EVENTS
1. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Take a Ghost Walk with costumed rangers at Cuyahoga Valley NP on 10/11, on the rolling unpaved Lake Trail. Details here.
2. Pumpkin Sunday will be held at Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS on 10/19. The event will include hay rides, a hay maze, cider making, and much more. Details here.
3. Halloween Tales, spooky story-telling programs, will be held at Minute Man NHP on 10/25. A special, less-scary lantern walk will be available for younger children. Details here.

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Battle Anniversary Encampment at Saratoga NHP

REVOLUTIONARY WAR
1. History comes alive at Saratoga NHP on 9/20-21, at the park’s Battle Anniversary Encampment. See what life was like in a Continental Army camp through special programs and demonstrations. Details here.
2. Commemorate the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Kings Mountain on 10/4-5 at FestiFall at Kings Mountain NMP and Cowpens NB. A special wreath-laying ceremony, musket and rifle demonstrations, and a dramatic presentation are planned. Details here.
3. Did you know? More than 5,000 African Americans served in the Continental Army. Attend this special program on 11/1 at Morristown NHP to learn about their valuable contributions. Details here.

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Former NPS Chief Historian Ed Bearss

CIVIL WAR
1. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek with a variety of events, including cannon demonstrations, living history programs, and reenactments. Details here.
2. Living History Weekend at Andersonville NHS on 10/25-26 will afford visitors the opportunity to experience what life was like for prisoners at the infamous prison camp, through special programs, artillery demonstrations, and costumed interpreters. Details here.
3. Join former National Park Service Chief Historian Ed Bearss at Richmond NBP on 11/23 for a special presentation on the Petersburg Siege. A book signing will take place afterwards. Details here.