Grand Canyon Celebrates 100th Birthday With Free Entry

Woodrow Wilson designated the site a national park on Feb. 26, 1919

The Grand Canyon is celebrating its 100th birthday as a national park.

Visitors can get into the iconic park free Tuesday for the celebration that includes children's choirs, cultural demonstrations and cake.

"The 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park is an occasion to celebrate the park’s incredible impact on Arizona’s citizens and economy, global reputation, and to inspire future generations to experience the park and protect its beauty, natural resources and cultural significance," a National Park Service press release read

Centennial events begin mid-morning Tuesday.

A fourth-grade class from the Grand Canyon School will lead a Happy Birthday sing-along. Sunni Dooley will tell Navajo winter stories later in the day.

Before Grand Canyon became a national park, the land was home to and visited frequently by Native American tribes.

The park was protected as a game reserve and national monument before being designated a national park on Feb. 26, 1919. Now, more than 6 million visitors a year peer deep into the gorge, navigate river rapids, hike trails and camp under the stars.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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