Celebration day: Crater Lake National Park transformed for festivities
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
August 25, 2002
By LEE JUILLERAT
CRATER LAKE n Once every 100 years.
“It looks like the circus has come to town,” laughed Mac Brock as he surveyed the Rim Village parking lot at Crater Lake National Park Saturday afternoon.
Brock, who is coordinating planning for today’s centennial celebration, was looking at the ring of tents circling a stage, fence lined with bunting and 1,000 chairs in an area that any August weekend day would have been filled with cars, motor homes and recreational vehicles. Brock said there is room within the cordoned area for at least 3,000 people.
The Rim Village transformation was just part of Saturday’s festive mood as preparations were finalized for today’s park rededication ceremonies set for 1 p.m. Politicians, Klamath Tribes drummers and dancers, the Ashland City Band and talks on the park’s role in its second century are planned.
Drawing questions from park visitors was a posted “First Amendment Site,” which park officials were legally required to designate in case of possible protesters. No incidents are expected, only celebrating.
Admission to the park will be free today, but people planning to be at Rim Village will need to ride shuttle buses from the park headquarters area.
Along with the usual crunch of visitors, Rim Village was in a happy frenzy Saturday with large numbers of former park employees, including at least one past superintendent, and a variety of special programs.
Current superintendent Chuck Lundy and chief interpreter Marsha McCabe jointly cut the ribbon for a new exhibit at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook and Museum Saturday afternoon.
“You can still smell the paint,” said one visitor on entering the museum, which was only put in place last week.
The Sinnott’s fascinating array of brand new exhibits drew oohs, aahs and applause as crowds huddled around displays.
“Cool,” said one visitor, “Bravo!” whooped another after viewing a 3-1/2 minute video. The obvious crowd-favorite, it combines computer graphics and footage from the Mount St. Helens eruption to create what is easily the easiest-to-understand story of the creation of the mountain now known as Mount Mazama, its eruption and the formation of Crater Lake, the nation’s deepest and the world’s clearest lake.
“We think that story of the park will be far better told,” said Lundy, referring to revamped museum.
Other displays include Fort Rock sandals and other Native American artifacts, photos and information about geologists who have solved the puzzle of the lake’s formation, a case showing the depth of pumice belched by Mazama, and videos taken from various depths in the nearly 2,000 feet deep lake.
A look at Rim Village of the future was offered by McCabe and Ray Todd of the National Park Service’s Denver Service Center. During a Rim Village walking tour, Todd and McCabe showed artists renderings of how the parking area will look after the parking lot is relocated behind the cafeteria-gift shop, possibly in the next few years.
“It seemed quite modern to be able to park at the primary feature and provide visitor services in that same area,” explained Todd of the philosophy of creating a “sea of parking” when first arriving at the rim. “We just don’t feel that’s appropriate any more.”
Plans call for creating a pedestrian walking area where the parking lot is now located. The gift shop-cafeteria will be reduced by more than half of its 1920s size. Parking will be moved behind the renovated gift shop and a future Rim Village visitor center. Money for that work is tentatively approved for the National Park Service’s 2004 budget.
Upcoming events at Crater Lake National Park:
Free admittance to park all day.
9 a.m. — Rim Village Morning Activities. Booths from various groups will include the Crater Lake Natural History Association, Friends of Crater Lake, Southern Oregon Visitors Association and Klamath and Cow Creek Tribes.
10 a.m. — Discovery Point hike.
1 p.m. — Public Rededication Ceremony, including dignitaries from local, state, federal and tribal agencies.
3 p.m. — Garfield Peak hike.
10 a.m. — Discovery Point hike.
10 a.m. —Godfrey Glen hike.