ACADIA NAT’L PARK — All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation plan to take part in the Gift of Acadia celebration, a major event in the park’s observance of its one-hundredth anniversary, on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 8:30-10 a.m. at Jordan Pond House.
A reading of the original speeches given when the park opened in 1916 is set for Monday, Aug. 22, at St. Saviour’s Church in Bar Harbor (See below).
The free public event on Aug. 27 also will include presentations by David Rockefeller Jr., whose grandfather was one of the founders of Acadia; Michael Reynolds, deputy director of operations for the National Park Service; Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider; and Friends of Acadia President and CEO David MacDonald.
The Gift of Acadia celebration also will include performances by the Burnurwurbskek Singers, a drum group from the Penobscot Indian Nation, and by the Centennial Singers, a chorus of 100 community members, who will sing “America the Beautiful” and “This Land is Your Land.”
Also at the event, badges will be given to 100 junior rangers “to recognize the next generation of park enthusiasts,” according to a park press release.
Schneider said the Gift of Acadia celebration will be “a highlight of the year filled with art, music, lectures, readings, films, exhibits and myriad other events inspired by Acadia’s centennial.”
Designated parking at Jordan Pond House for the event will be available only to people with disabilities. For all others, transportation to the event will be by free shuttles, which will leave from Mount Desert Island High School on Eagle Lake Road at 7 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Pets will not be allowed on the shuttles or at the event.
On Monday, Aug. 22, a recreation of the original opening of Acadia’s predecessor, Sieur de Monts National Monument, will be held at St. Saviour’s Church on Mount Desert Street in Bar Harbor. The public is invited.
The program begins with a musical presentation at 1:30 p.m. At 2 p.m., historians and descendants of Acadia’s founders will read speeches originally given on the opening on Aug. 22, 1916. Speakers include Jack Russell; Charles Eliot Pierce Jr., who will read the speech of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot (see column on page 13); Rev. Timothy Fleck, who will read the speech given in 1916 by Bishop William Lawrence; biographer Ronald Epp, who will read the speech of George B. Dorr; Steven Katona, who will read the speech of Alfred G. Mayer; and William Horner, who will read the speech of his ancestor Luere Babson Deasy (see story on page 2 in Extra!).
Joshua Torrance will present the deed for the final gift of land to the park from the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations following.
The Kelley Farm Five will perform the “Acadia Waltz,” and there will be a reception in the church’s garden.
Park entrance fees will be waived nationwide from Aug. 25-28 to encourage everyone to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.
The entrance fee waiver does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.
Visit www.nps.gov/acad or call 288-3338.