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Yosemite National Park celebrates 150th anniversary with festival June 28

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The 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, that preserved Yosemite and began the entire National Park System, will be celebrated June 28 with a festival at the Oakhurst Community Park near the south entrance.

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The act, signed by President Lincoln on June 30, 1864, protected Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees -- creating the foundation for the National Park System.

The act mandated that "...the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation; shall be inalienable for all time..."

At the June 28 festival at noon, actors portraying President Lincoln and conservationist John Muir, "the father of the National Park Service", enter on an old wagon train, and explain the creation of Yosemite and America's park system.

At the inaugural festival:

  • Half Dome Art Pavilion celebrates the beauty and history of the art of Yosemite.
  • Yosemite Falls History Center traces the park's evolution and offers a vintage clothing exhibit.
  • El Capitan Adventure Land explores the wildlife and nature of Yosemite.
  • Yosemite Valley Center Stage offers music, dancers, and other entertainment throughout the day.

As Muir once wrote, "Keep close to Nature's heart...and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

For more info: Yosemite Festival,, Yosemite National Park, Oakhurst Community Park, 49074 Civic Circle Drive, Oakhurst, Calif. June 28, 10 A.M.-7 P.M. Admission $1. Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, 559-683-4636, Rhonda Salisbury, "Yosemite: A Gathering of the Spirit" PBS documentary by Ken Burns.