Bill Rogers of Nova Scotia, Canada, paints a watercolor of the Olympics from Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center on Wednesday. In celebration of the National Park Service centennial, artists are painting as part of the Paint the Peninsula competition. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Bill Rogers of Nova Scotia, Canada, paints a watercolor of the Olympics from Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center on Wednesday. In celebration of the National Park Service centennial, artists are painting as part of the Paint the Peninsula competition. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Birthday party, free entry at Olympic National Park to mark Park Service centennial

The event celebrates the establishment of the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916.

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary today with free entry and a birthday party.

A drop-in birthday party is set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Storm King Ranger Station near Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls to celebrate the establishment of the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916.

Entrance fees into Olympic National Park will be waived beginning today and continuing through Sunday.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is offering free entrance to state parks today only. Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks that day.

During the party at Storm King Ranger Station, visitors can help create a giant birthday banner with fabric markers, walk the Marymere Falls trail and stop at a free-style art station and see filmmaker Eliza Goode’s “The Smell of Cedars Steeped in Rain,” a 12-minute film on Olympic National Park.

Today’s celebration also will include plein air artists painting in the Paint the Peninsula competition as they demonstrate their skills at Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Clark Driese, a Port Angeles-based guitarist, singer and songwriter, will perform acoustic music on the Storm King Ranger Station porch.

At 7 p.m., storytelling will be featured at the NatureBridge campus on Lake Crescent. Professional storytellers Ingrid Nixon and Rebecca Horn will tell tales.

The second half of the program will offer an opportunity for people to share their own stories about a national park experience.

Birthday cake and refreshments will be served at intermission.

A celebration also is planned at the Kalaloch Campground amphitheater. At 8 p.m., a one-hour program telling of the past 100 years of the park service will begin. It will conclude with a birthday cake and celebration.

Artists entered into the juried Paint the Peninsula show hosted by the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center have been at work in the park since Tuesday. They provided special demonstrations Wednesday at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge.

The more than 80 paintings by artists from 1 to 18 years old entered into the Junior Plein Air Watercolor Contest will be on display at the Storm King Ranger Station on Wednesdays through Saturdays through Sept. 4.

Plein air paintings of the park by both adults and youths will be featured at a free public show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.​

During the show, awards will be given to the artists whose park-inspired paintings were chosen as winners, and cake will be served to honor the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.

On Saturday, the Kalaloch Ranger Station will host Centennial Olympics between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Through Sunday, visitors can pick up centennial birthday cards there to send to the National Park Service.

The cards and a special ranger cabin mailbox for posting birthday wishes will be available there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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