(Asheville NC and Roanoke VA) – Plans are underway for the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Weekend Celebration September 10-12, marking the beginning of construction of this beautiful 469-mile scenic by-way September 11, 1935, near Cumberland Knob, NC, (MP 217) near the North Carolina and Virginia state lines.
The Blue Ridge Music Center (MP 213), the Cumberland Knob Recreation Area (MP217), and the neighboring communities of Fancy Gap, Hillsville, Fries, Independence, and Galax, VA, will be other sites for this multi-day, multi-venue celebration, including regional music, craft, storytelling, children’s activities and foods from the Blue Ridge.
The opening ceremony launching the 75th festivities will be held at 11 a.m. September 10 at the Cumberland Knob Recreation Area. North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will present remarks as will US Congressional leadership. National Park Service and United States Department of the Interior officials will also participate in the ceremony.
On September 11, a remembrance will be given by the Dr. Dan Matthews, who was serving as rector of Trinity Church on Wall Street in the shadow of the World Trade Center when the events of September 11, 2001 occurred. The church became a place of refuge for hundreds seeking shelter from the massive cloud of debris.
A Saturday night concert at the Blue Ridge Music Center will feature the legendary Ralph Stanley as well as other notable musicians from the region, including Junior Appalachian Musicians. The entire weekend will have traditional and regional music as its centerpiece, with jams and performances throughout.
Communities along the Parkway will present Parkway officials with commemorative gifts and an area at the Blue Ridge Music Center will be dedicated to spotlighting communities along the road. Through the Parks in Classrooms programs, students from throughout the region are submitting hand-made birthday cards to the Parkway, which will be on exhibit that weekend.
Fittingly, one of the highlights of the weekend will focus on the Parkway’s automotive heritage. Created as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Parkway’s beginnings were deeply rooted in America’s new love affair with automobile travel. Representatives from the 1000-member Tin Can Tourists organization will be on hand to display vintage campers spanning the 75-year period. First organized in Desoto Park, Tampa, Florida, in 1919, the organization has held meets and rallies across the United States over the years. Coincidentally, 2010 is also the centennial celebration of the American Recreational Vehicle Association.
In conjunction with the Fancy Gap, VA, Annual Apple Festival that weekend, a parade of 1935 to 1945 antique cars will begin in Fancy Gap and travel along the Parkway to Fries, VA., ending at the Blue Ridge Music Center.
For more information about the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary, including upcoming events in neighboring communities along the road, visit http://www.blueridgeparkway75.org
Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc. is the non-profit organization designated by the National Park Service to lead the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary celebration. With representation from all of the Parkway’s partner groups, the states of North Carolina and Virginia, and community leaders along the 469-mile scenic route, Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc.’s mission is to engage local communities and all visitors in an anniversary that focuses attention on a sustainable and healthy Parkway for future generations. For more information, visit http://www.blueridgeparkway75.org.
|Shop for Officialy Licensed 75th Anniversary apparel and souvenirs!
T-shirts, hats, pins, mugs and more are all available bearing the official 75th logo.
Proceeds from the sale of these products directly benefit the BRP 75, Inc.