Calaveras Big Trees State Park opening new visitor center

05/18/2014 6:31 PM

05/18/2014 6:32 PM

Calaveras Big Trees State Park will hold the grand opening of its new visitor center Saturday.

“This is a very interactive and educational center,” said Gary Olson, park superintendent.

The visitor center houses cultural artifacts and animal displays and includes interactive exhibits. A new film focusing on the origin of California State Parks and Calaveras Big Trees can be viewed in the movie theater.

The grand opening will begin at 11 a.m. The park will hold several walking tours, children’s activities and a wild-animal presentation in the campfire center.

The walking tours will begin at 12:30 p.m. and run every 15 minutes. California State Parks staff, docents and other groups will cover varying topics during the one-hour tours.

Children’s activities, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., span 1800s-era “Graces” to the more modern Twister and Ladderball.

At 2 p.m., “California Forever” will be shown in Jack Knight Hall. The film tells the story of the history and development of California State Parks.

A live animal presentation by Wild Things in the campfire center begins at 3 p.m.

A barbecue lunch sponsored by the Calaveras Big Trees Association will be available for purchase throughout the afternoon.

“To avoid a park admission fee, take the free shuttle from the Meadowmont Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,” according to a news release.

All events and activities are free with paid park admission. For more information, call Calaveras Big Trees State Park at (209) 795-2334 or go to www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551.

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