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Countdown to 50: Biscayne Celebrates a Big Birthday

October 2018 – Biscayne National Park’s 50th birthday celebration wraps up this month with three days of special events starting October 18 – the date President Lyndon Johnson created a national park to protect Biscayne Bay, its barrier islands and coral reefs. The park has a full schedule of activities planned to mark the occasion (see the park’s news release, included below). Many thanks to the donors who helped to underwrite the park’s 50th anniversary celebration this year, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, the Guerra Family Foundation, and the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs. Thank you!

Celebrating Biscayne National Park’s 50th Anniversary

HOMESTEAD, FL (October 6, 2018) – Three days of events will mark Biscayne National Park’s Golden Anniversary from October 18 – 20, 2018. The celebrations will take place at the park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center, located 9 miles east of Homestead, Florida at 9700 SW 328 Street. Unless otherwise noted, activities are free and open to all.

On Thursday, October 18, the park will partner with US Citizenship and Immigration Services to host two Naturalization Ceremonies, welcoming 40 new citizens in a place they now own. Ceremonies take place at 9:30 and 11:30 am in the visitor center auditorium, and are open to the public.

On Friday evening, October 19, the Biscayne National Park Institute and National Parks at Night (NPAN) will host an evening cruise to Boca Chita Key. Half of the boat will be reserved for photographers participating in an NPAN photography workshop. The remaining seats are available to those who simply want an evening out at Biscayne National Park’s most popular island. The trip departs at 5:30 pm and returns at 10:00 pm, and the price is $79 per person.

The main celebration of the anniversary will take place on Saturday, October 20 with a variety of activities:

  • Photographers and non-photographers are invited to join the South Florida National Parks Camera Club at 6 am to enjoy the sunrise.

  • The Biscayne National Park Institute will offer boat trips and paddlecraft rentals throughout the day. Prices vary, and should be reserved in advance atBiscayneNationalParkInstitute.org

  • From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters, an exhibit featuring photographs from both Biscayne and Redwood National Parks (which were both established in October, 1968), will be on view all day. From 5:30 to 8:00pm, the exhibition’s creators, National Parks at Night, will be on hand for a “Meet the Artists” reception with food, drink, birthday cake, a nearly-full moon and live music by Grant Livingston. NPAN instructors will lead a short walk at Convoy Point offering nighttime photography tips. The exhibit is made possible through the generosity of BayPhoto simultaneously at both Biscayne and Redwood National Parks.

  • A small display of memorabilia from the park’s establishment, including the pen used by President Johnson to sign the park’s enabling legislation, is on view all day.

Funding for events throughout the year leading up to this celebration were coordinated by the South Florida National Parks Trust through the generosity of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Knight Arts Challenge, The Guerra Family Foundation, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support for October 18-20 events comes from National Parks at Night and BayPhoto.

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