Department of Parks
The Moving Wall™ Comes to General Butler and More Memorial Day Events
FRANKFORT, Ky.--The nation’s first Memorial Day was created in 1866 to commemorate soldiers who died in battle during the Civil War. Today, nearly 150 years later, it’s a national holiday in May that honors all the men and women who have given their lives in military service and has become the unofficial kick off to the summer season. Flags fly, gatherings commence and sandals and shorts replace jackets and sweaters.
Kentucky State Parks join the patriotic memories with music, exhibits and unlimited opportunities to reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton begins its memorial observance a bit in advance of the official date with the display of The Moving Wall™, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The park is part of a local coalition that is bringing the stirring, half-scale model of the monument for display at the park entrance just off of US 227 from May 20 -24.
Like the original design by Maya Ying Lin, The Moving Wall™ is engraved with the names of more than 58,000 Vietnam War causalities plus about 1,200 personnel who remain unaccounted for. Since it was created in 1984, the wall has been displayed in thousands of American towns and cities and is scheduled for 30 other stops across the country by the end of September. Following the assembly of the wall on Thursday morning, it can be viewed 24 hours a-day and will be lighted for evening hours. Six members of the Kentucky National Guard will be on site to provide security.
The park is a pastoral, open setting for the replica with ample space for visitors to absorb the impact of the design and the numbers of fallen surrounded by nature. Camping and lodging are available for visitors who may choose to take part or all of the weekend leading up to Memorial Day to view The Moving Wall. There is plenty of free parking available and admission to the rest of the park is free.
On May 29 and part of Memorial Day weekend, General Butler kicks off it’s 2010 Play Er Agin’ Concert Series with Kevin Stonerock’s melding of folk, country and rock. The Two Moon Records recording artist was described as “strong and inspired” by Guitar Player magazine. The ninth season for the Roots Music to the River Valley series runs monthly through October. For more details about the series, log on to http://www.parks.ky.gov.
Fort Boonesborough State Park, off I-75 just south of Lexington, and Blue Licks State Resort Park a lovely drive on U.S. 68 near charming Carlisle, invite you to be a hero by donating blood on May 29 at either location. At Blue Licks, donors may give from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will receive a pass for two to play the mini golf course. At Fort Boonesborough from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., donors get a t-shirt and become registered in a drawing for other prizes.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park near Dawson Springs, begins a schedule of activities that extend throughout summer months. At least four programs are offered six days a week that involve nature and more fun in the forest.
General Burnside State Park gears up so guests can recreate and generate fun over Memorial Day weekend at the park near Somerset. If you prefer indoor camping to outdoor camping, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and Lake Cumberland State Resort Park with lodges and restaurants are just a scenic, country drive away.
Learn about and try out weaponry at Big Bone Lick—a member of an elite group of geological sites around the country--on May 31. The park naturalist will show participants how to use the spear and atlatl and then you can try your hand. Both items have had a lingering impact on the development of human culture for millenia. This event is free and no advance registration is required.
Kick off the summer at Kentucky’s famous state parks. At any site, new memories await for one and all regardless of which destination you choose. Check the listing by park or date and use the interactive map at www.parks.ky.gov. Make plans for Memorial Day or any day and create your own experience.
Kentucky State Parks are managed by the Department of Parks--an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The system has 53 parks with an array of amenities including lodges, campgrounds, swimming pools and restaurants.
Each year, Kentucky parks draw millions of visitors and generate hundreds of millions in revenue for Kentucky’s economy. But admission and parking are always free.
For more information about amenities, events and other aspects of KySP, visit the web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov