Monday, June 6, 2011

Virginia State Parks plan celebration for 75th anniversary

From the and Press Release from Virginia State Parks
Virginia State Parks Voted America's best!

MILLBORO — It's an old-time day at the beach at Douthat State Park June 18, when the site joins the other state parks for the official celebration of the park system's 75th anniversary.

Douthat's celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. State Sen. Creigh Deeds will speak at the amphitheater, and all other activities will take place on the beach.

The event will include an inflatable, cake, horseshoe tournament, sack races, greased watermelon contest, old-timey photos and a paddleboat race.

On June 15, 1936, Virginia became the first state in the nation to open an entire state park system on the same day. In recognition of the anniversary, state park visitors will receive free parking in all parks June 13-19.

“For 75 years generations of Virginians have grown up with Virginia State Parks, enjoying decades of family vacations and weekend getaways,” said DCR Director David Johnson. “The free parking, as well as the additional special events and activities we have planned, are ways to thank visitors for their loyalty to state parks and their commitment to preserving Virginia’s environment.”

In 2010, Virginia State Parks hosted more than 8 million visitors who contributed around $189 million to Virginia’s economy.

While free parking will be available all week, the primary celebration will by June 18, when all state parks will observe the anniversary with complimentary cake. In addition to cake, each park will offer special activities reflecting its unique nature and heritage.

“We have an exciting and amazing list of events and programs scheduled across the state on June 18,” said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. “From authors and book signings to concerts and tournaments, the list goes on and on. Visitors to Fairy Stone State Park will even have the opportunity to help the community by donating blood during a blood drive. Many people have life-long memories of visiting state parks, and the celebration week is sure to write another memorable chapter in the lives of our visitors, and in the history of our parks.”

The celebration week also kicks off the “75 Days of Summer” contest, in which prizes will be awarded for visiting the parks or

The grand prizes include the use of a 31-foot motor home for a week’s travel in Virginia and seven nights in a state park campground, sponsored by McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV Supercenter, a 21-foot trailer rental for seven nights at Westmoreland, Lake Anna or Shenandoah River state parks, sponsored by Road Trip Rentals, and a new popup camper provided by Coastal RV of Carrollton.

For more information about the Virginia State Parks 75th anniversary celebration, visit

BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside and get involved! Don't forget to take your camera, water bottle and bug spray.

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