This is what we’re here for, right?

The epitome of our purpose in our professional position.

The Centennial.

It is amazing, really, that the National Park Service has held on this long. I’m not saying this to degrade it, but to say that the park service has held a home in the hearts of our nation in a century where so many organizations have come and gone. It has persevered–for a hundred years! That’s amazing, and shows the love that America’s citizens has for her parks. When I first began as a CVA, I felt so privileged to be able to say I was interning at a National Park (through the SCA, of course). It gave a certain boost to my normal “I-haven’t-decided-on-a-major-yet” spiel. I enjoy going out to lunch with my seasonal park guide friends, and seeing people look at their uniforms in awe. (Yeah, I’m with them.) Perhaps I will wear the tan and green loud and proud one day, too.

My first big project this year was recruiting volunteers to build a float for our county’s fair parade, celebrating and advertising our Centennial Celebration! One awesome volunteer opened his workshop to us and led the construction of a 9 foot tall birthday cake to put on the parade float! Other volunteers helped a coworker and I build the cake with a wooden frame, and foam board on top to look like frosting. Several artistic volunteers painted decorations on it, and we added material to look like frosting, and even 100 candles!Parade day was fast approaching!

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The cake shared the float trailer with a huge drum that serves as our park’s mascot’s house. On the 90 degree parade day, a brave volunteer dressed as Major Muskrat inside the mini “drum house,” with the help of a handler. The drum is on the left side of the float in the picture below, and is 10 feet tall (also built by volunteers). He stood on the float along with a couple Rangers, a Junior Ranger, and reenactors, dancing and waving to the crowd! Every once in a while, the Major headed into his house for a little break (thanks to the air conditioner inside).

2016 Fair Parade Group Photo

We were able to get a car dealership to donate a NICE truck for the day to pull the trailer, and the owner even drove it for us! Talk about partnership! A few volunteers held signs at the beginning of our procession about the 2016 Centennial, while others marched behind them in 1812 period clothing. I helped pass out water to our willing volunteers, and also walked through the crowd handing out invitations to our Celebration. I would walk up to a family and ask if they wanted to come to a birthday party!? That always grabbed people’s attention.

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On August 27 we held our Centennial Celebration! We had live music held on the parade float, FREE cake and ice cream, a balloon twister, a coloring book contest, historical cannon and musket demonstrations, and another appearance from our very own Major Muskrat. Below is Major Muskrat posing with our Superintendent, Scott Bentley, before the cake was cut. Besides shooing bees away from the food, and a nice little thunderstorm, the day was a success. Here’s to the next 100 years of stewardship and service!!!

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