Golden Spike National Historical Park nixes their traditional May 10 celebration

NPS Park Ranger David Kilton delivers a fact-filled, yet entertaining, presentation on the building of the transcontinental railroad and the Golden Spike Ceremony at the spot where the last rail was laid while Central Pacific’s locomotive “Jupiter” waits to do a photo runby. [5/22/2012] © Copyright 2012, All rights reserved.

PROMONTORY – Golden Spike National Historic Park officials have canceled their annual May 10 celebration in an effort to support federal, state and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Lucas Hugie, a Ranger at the Golden Spike Historical Park, leans on the display of a replica golden spike in a case at the visitor center located in Box Elder County.

Following direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Utah Department of Health, and Bear River Health District, limiting mass gatherings can help stop the spread of the virus.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Golden Spike National Historical Park is our number one priority,” incoming Superintendent Brandon Flint said. “This year we will commemorate May 10th on a more individual and personal level. Visitors can find commemorative videos, stories and photos on the park website and Facebook page to learn more about the day that forever changed our nation.”

“The 151st anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion will still come to pass and deserves to be honored” said Co-Chairs of the Golden Spike Association, Norm and Willie Nelson. “The association will produce the traditional 151st Anniversary commemorative playbill that visitors love to collect when they visit the park.” The playbills will be available in the visitor center this summer.

The park visitor center and bookstore will remain closed as National Park officials closely monitor the affect of the pandemic on the site. The Park Service will notify the public when they resume full operations.

Railroad officials and employees celebrate the completion of the first railroad transcontinental link in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. The Union Pacific’s Locomotive No. 119, right, and Central Pacific’s Jupiter edged forward over the golden spike that marked the joining of the nation by rail. (AP Photo/Union Pacific/Andrew Russell)

Updates will be posted on their website and on Facebook.

The Historic Last Spike Site, the Fill Hiking and Trail, the East Auto Tour at Golden Spike and other sites at the park will remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest health guidance; in addition, entrance fees are currently being waived.

If contemplating a visit to a national park during this pandemic, the NPS asks visitors to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safer and healthier.
NPS officials would like to encourage people to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.


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