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National Park Service to offer summer programs

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

National Park Service summer programs at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park are set to begin next week.

"After years of planning, the National Park Service began offering public programs for the first time in 2010," states a news release from the park service.

There will be daily programs at the park between June 9 and Aug. 12, according to the release.

"As the National Park Service becomes more operational at the park, we will expand both the number and frequency of the presentations this summer," the release quotes Park Superintendent Diann Jacox as stating.

Visitors can experience "Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box," which is available every day. It provides a half-hour overview of the Shenandoah Valley's history, the Battle of Cedar Creek, and the Civil War's effect on the surrounding area, according to the release.

The program is interactive and includes props. Those interested can take part at 11:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays on the Belle Grove front lawn, according to the release.

On Saturdays at 2 p.m., a park ranger will lead a 13-mile car-caravan tour highlighting the major parts of the Battle of Cedar Creek, the release states. The tours start at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters, and will also be offered on weekdays, it states.

Other programs offered regularly depending on staff availability include:

• "From Back Country to Breadbasket" The Peopling of the Shenandoah Valley is a half-hour valley history leading up to the Civil War.

• "To Battlefield and Beyond" War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley is about campaigns and battles in the Shenandoah Valley.

• "Civil War Entrenchment Tour" will give visitors at chance to "explore some of the most pristine Civil War entrenchments that survive in the Shenandoah Valley," the release states. This tour is at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and starts at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation parking lot.

• "History at Sunset" will be on Fridays, June 22-Aug. 10. The program starts at 7 p.m.
Program schedules will be posted weekly at the park service's website, www.nps.gov/cebe, the release says. Schedules can also be checked by calling the park at 869-3051.

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