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Autumn leaves and the Acadia Centennial make September brilliant

Autumn leaves and the Acadia Centennial make September brilliant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 6, 2016
CONTACT: Aimee Beal Church, Friends of Acadia Communications Director,
Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia Conservation Director,

Autumn leaves and the Acadia Centennial make September brilliant

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE —  Labor Day Weekend marks the close of Acadia’s busiest season, and that is particularly true in 2016, when some 150 Acadia Centennial events took place in July and August to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the park’s founding. The August 27 “Gift of Acadia” event at the Jordan Pond House ended summer on a high note, with more than 400 people coming together to mark the co-centennials of Acadia and the National Park Service with music, speeches, presentations, and an earnest crew of Junior Rangers representing the second century of stewardship for the park.

Lynne Dominy, the chief of interpretation at Acadia, remarked afterward that “there were wet eyes at more than one moment that morning. The words and thoughts offered by NPS deputy director Michael Reynolds, by ANP superintendent Kevin Schneider, by all four members of Maine’s Congressional delegation, by David Rockefeller Jr., and by Friends of Acadia president David MacDonald—as well as the musical selections and the presence of David Rockefeller Sr. and the Junior Rangers, both representing such important park stewards—truly touched people. I think most of us there were inspired to look deeply within and think how we each can help insure the best possible future for this place we care so much about.”

But with two-thirds of Acadia’s centennial year behind us, the celebration is far from over. The tally of Acadia Centennial Partners, who have stepped up to offer an event, product, or their support for the yearlong, community-based celebration of our 100-year-old national park, has topped 440. There will surely be more than 450 by the end of 2016! Flags and stickers with the iconic Acadia Centennial logo adorn countless businesses in Acadia’s surrounding communities, signaling that centennial products to help commemorate this historic year and benefit Acadia may be found within. More than 40 events, including lectures, workshops, parties, and exhibits, are planned for the month of September.

One September “highlight” (no doubt, these lights are the highest) will be the 8th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, to be held Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25 at many locations throughout the Acadia region. Be sure to catch a star-gazing opportunity, including “Stars over Sand Beach” on Thursday, the Seawall Star Party on Friday, or the Cadillac Star Party on Saturday; and learn more about night sky conservation in our national parks at “A Starry Endowment,” a talk by Chad Moore, founder of the NPS Night Skies Team.

Are you hoping to learn more about Acadia and its history? Check out these lectures and presentations: “Volunteers and Acadia National Park,”  a talk by longtime ANP volunteer Mike Hays (Sept. 6); “Auto Wars” lecture by Raney Bench, director of the Seal Cove Auto Museum (Sept. 15); a book talk  by Terry Tempest Williams, author of  “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks” (Sept. 17); a book talk by Earl Brechlin, author of  “Forever Yours, Bar Harbor: Historic Postcard Images of Mount Desert Island and Acadia” (Sept. 20); “Life in Jordan Pond,” a kid-friendly look at underwater critters in Maine’s clearest lake (Sept. 24); “A Night with Dayton Duncan” including a Q&A and screening of Acadia portions of the “National Parks: America’s Best Idea” documentary that Duncan co-produced with filmmaker Ken Burns (Sept. 26); a book talk by the editors of  “A Thinking Person’s Guide to America’s National Parks” (Sept. 29); and to top it off, the Acadia Centennial Session of PechaKucha MDI, at which ten speakers will each have 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, to give presentations on themes including Acadia’s history, hiking, decolonization, climate change, search and rescue, archaeology, and more (Sept. 30).

If you know kids looking for some challenges, September has some good ones! Two contests open September 1: a Student Short Film Contest seeks 1 – 2 minute films about “Your Acadia” (deadline Sept. 21) and “100 Words for Acadia” will award $300 for the best flash fiction, poetry, memoir, or whatever about Acadia (deadline Sept. 30). “100 Words” has an adult prize, too, everyone should sharpen their pencils! And don’t forget about the “Acadia 100 Challenge” and “Acadia Centennial Quest,” both ongoing, for more ways to connect your kids or students to the park during its centennial year.

Exhibits to catch this month include Clark Point Gallery’s “Centennial Celebration Exhibition,” which closes on September 10, “The View from Here” at the Cynthia Winings Gallery; “Home-Land-Waters” at Southwest Harbor Public Library;  “Century One: Acadia” paintings by Kaitlyn Metcalf at Northeast Harbor Library (through Sept. 15); Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival (Sept. 9–11); the “Acadia Centennial Collection” and accompanying “Acadia through a Furniture Maker’s Eyes” at the Gallery at Somes Sound; “Friends in Acadia” exhibition at the Wendell Gilley Museum; An exhibit of the paintings of Robert Jay at Bar Harbor Savings & Loan; and “Before Acadia: Adventure and Discovery” at the MDI Historical Society Somesville Museum. All of these exhibits run throughout September (and some beyond) unless otherwise noted.

Haven’t spent enough time in Acadia this summer? Centennial activities in the park this month include Sierra Club Maine’s Acadia Workday (Sept. 10), a Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Tour (Sept. 10), an Acadia Car-Free Morning designed for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the Park Loop Road (Sept. 17), a hike on Beech Cliff and beyond with author Carey Kish (Sept. 17), and National Public Lands Day volunteer opportunities (Sept. 24).

Looking beyond this month, there’s a TEMPO youth orchestra concert (Oct. 1) and the “Great Fire of 47” commemoration event (October 23) that you won’t want to miss, so save the date.

New products listings on the centennial website ( include logoed wine glasses and cutting boards for your kitchen; two hiking guides to get you out of your kitchen; fine-art watercolor cards and photographic posters; fine jewelry inspired by Acadia’s natural resources; a cool 1934 stamp set commemorating the national parks and inscribed with the Acadia Centennial logo; centennial-themed placemats, trail signs, and cobbles for you home; “Cadillac Crunch” ice cream, chocolate-covered blueberries, and “Centennial!” coffee (who needs anything more?), and a handsome “George B. Dorr” bow  tie so you can rock the style of the father of Acadia.  Official Acadia Centennial products are a great way to celebrate and commemorate Acadia’s birthday, and a portion of the proceeds from all sales of official products will be donated to benefit Acadia National Park.

Friends of Acadia, the organizing entity behind the Acadia Centennial Task Force, thanks the Acadia Centennial Partners whose combined contributions to the celebration—including event planning, product offerings, and financial support—are setting the standard for national park centennials. In particular, the Centennial Signature Sponsors have made leadership-level contributions: Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Boston Red Sox, Darling’s, Down East Magazine, EMHS, The Hinckley Company, The Jackson Laboratory, The Knowles Company, L.L.Bean, The Mount Desert Islander, MPBN, Ocean Properties, Star 97.7, and Wallace Events.

Visit the Acadia Centennial website ( to find times and locations for the above events, browse the centennial product listings, or to apply to become a partner and add your own once-in-a-lifetime contribution to the 2016 Acadia Centennial.

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