Blue Ridge Parkway launches National Park Service Centennial at the Blue Ridge Music Center on Aug. 29

blue ridgeThe National Park Service, established by Congress in 1916, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Parkway partner organizations, and the Blue Ridge Music Center will usher in the 2016 centennial on Saturday, August 29, with an afternoon showcase highlighting the work partner groups perform in support of the Parkway and an evening performance by the Steep Canyon Rangers.

Increasingly partnerships are an essential and effective means for the National Park Service to fulfill parts of its mission and foster a shared sense of stewardship. Parkway partners help in a variety of ways every day to support quality visitor experiences and resource stewardship.  Organizations participating in the August 29th showcase will provide visitors an opportunity to learn about the important contributions of each partner group, including fundraising, volunteerism, cultural and natural resource protection. Partner groups who will have a presence at the event include the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Eastern National. The National Park Service will also offer additional information about centennial happenings, and Junior Ranger activities for children. The showcase will begin at 1:00 p.m. and run through the start of the concert at 7:00 p.m.

Concert attendees will also hear from Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods about the National Park Service Centennial and how Parkway partnerships are integral to the future of the Parkway and fulfillment of the National Park Service mission. The concert will feature the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers and the Mountain Park Old Time Band. Concertgoers should plan to bring lawn chairs.

Additional highlights:

  • The Midday Mountain Music performance from noon to 4 p.m. will feature members of the Wolfe Brothers String Band. These free, informal music sessions feature regional musicians daily on the breezeway at the Music Center.
  • Eastern National will host musician and instrument maker David English of Black Owl Guitars to discuss the history of handmade instruments and demonstrate his own creations made from recycled materials.

Centennial Celebration Schedule
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Blue Ridge Music Center, Milepost 213-Blue Ridge Parkway
700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia

Noon to 4 p.m.: Midday Mountain Music

1 to 7 p.m.: Centennial Celebration Partner Showcase

7 p.m.: Concert with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Mountain Park Old Time Band

The Centennial Partner Showcase and Blue Ridge Music Center visitor center and exhibits are free. Tickets for the Steep Canyon Rangers concert are $20. For tickets, please call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245, or visit

Also at the Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through October. It features the award-winning, interactive Roots of American Music exhibit and Midday Mountain Music performances by local and regional musicians, hosted daily from noon to 4 p.m. Both activities are free. Visitors are also invited to trek the trails on the grounds. The Fisher Peak Loop Trail is a moderate 2.25-mile hike and the High Meadow Trail is an easy, family-friendly 1.35-mile hike (one way) in and along the edge of the woods. High Meadow is also a Kids in ParksTRACK Trail which features brochures with interactive, educational activities for children and families.

Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center is one of the major attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other region and serves as the epicenter of many of America’s living music traditions. The Music Center is operated by the National Park Service, and the programming is coordinated through a partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a major venue of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and a partner venue of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.


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