Blue Heron Decoration Day

Miners pose in front of coal tipple at Blue Heron

The National Park Service will host the 4th Annual Blue Heron Decoration Day event at the Blue Heron Interpretive Center on Saturday, May 19th 2018 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET).

This is an opportunity for park visitors and families that once lived and worked in the Stearns Coal Mining Communities to join together for an afternoon of food, music, fellowship and remembrance. Help us preserve and share the rich history of the coal mining community with visitors while preserving the memories and stories made at Mine 18.

As part of the celebrations the park is interested in obtaining copies of historic photographs of the people, places and events that occurred in the Big South Fork area prior to the park's establishment to help preserve the rich cultural history of the area. The National Park Service recognizes that there are many important photographs that could be included in the permanent museum collection from the public.

If you have photographs that you would like to incorporate into the National Park Service’s museum collection please bring them with you to the event. During Decoration Day, park staff will be available to copy historic photographs of the Big South Fork area. Photo scanning will occur at the Blue Heron Depot (Mine 18) from 11:00-4:30 p.m. It would be most helpful if photo owners can identify the places or people in the photograph, and they will need to sign a release for the Park Service to use the photos in documenting the area’s history. In return for scanning a photo, the park will provide the photo owner with a free archival copy of the photograph and a digital copy of the photo if desired (please bring a CD, flash drive, or provide us your email address).

There will also be ranger-led programs throughout the Blue Heron Outdoor Museum as well as live music from the to accompany the afternoon.

10:30-11:30 Reading Ranger Ranger Daniel Blue Heron, KY
All Day Share Your Story - We will collect and scan historc photographs all day. - Blue Heron, KY
12:30-4:00 3.7 mile Rails-to-Trails hike to Dick Gap overlook. Ranger Karen Blue Heron, KY
All Day Music & Demonstations - Blue Heron, KY
12:15 & 3:30 "Generations" - We will show the Big South Fork film "Generations". Karen Thompson Blue Heron, KY
1:15 & 4:15 Group photo - every year we replicate the 1939 mural of the miners from Mine 18. - Blue Heron,KY

Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch or food and drink can be purchased from the Blue Heron Concession stand.

Decoration Day is free of charge and wheelchair accessible. Everyone is welcome. This program is accessible by car or by the Big South Fork Scenic Railway. For directions or additional information, please call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at (606) 376-3787. For tickets on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, please call (606) 376-5330.

If you are interested in volunteering or are interested in performing during the event call the Blue Heron Interpretative Center at: 606-376-3787

Last updated: February 3, 2018

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