|Friday, Oct 3, 2008|
On September 27 and 28, 2008, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial welcomed 13,750 visitors, most in family groups, for the first annual ParkPalooza event on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days ten interactive venues incorporated outdoor experiences like fishing, rock climbing, cycling, and archeology, as well as historical interpretation, music, dance, art and technology. Children were able to make crafts from recycled materials, set up a tipi, serve on a cannon crew, help create an oil painting, see a baby bison, listen to Native American music and participate in folk dances, among many other activities too numerous to mention. Funding for the event was provided by an NPS Centennial Challenge Grant matched by park partners Jefferson National Parks Association and Metro, with a significant donation from the Mississippi River Trail, Inc.
The event was successful in large part because of the partnerships forged with dozens of local, state and national organizations, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the NPS Midwest Archeological Center, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Nez Perce National Historical Park, Wilsonâs Creek National Battlefield, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. For more information visit www.nps.gov/jeff or www.parkpalooza.org. By the end of October a gallery of photographs from the event will be added to these sites.