FORT LARNED — The National Park Service Centennial celebration kicks off on Jan. 1, 2016 with the 127th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
“Find Your Adventure,” is the parade theme which has grown out of a unique partnership between the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the National Park Service. The 2016 Rose Parade will help shine light on the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks. Ken Burns, the award-winning documentary filmmaker of the National Parks: America’s Best Idea, will be the Grand Marshal.
Fort Larned National Historic Site volunteer Barrett Young of rural Paola will ride on the Opening Theme Banner float representing the nearly 221,000 volunteers in the National Park Service (NPS). He has been a devoted volunteer for the National Park Service since 2007, primarily at Fort Scott and Fort Larned National Historic Sites in Kansas. Young enjoys portraying a soldier and demonstrating black powder muskets and canon firings, as well as giving various historical presentations.
Young received an invitation from the Tournament of Roses President, Mike Matthiessen, several months ago, “in light of your extraordinary support of, and extensive visits to, our great country’s National Parks.”
Young said that he was “completely shocked by the invitation and felt it was a real honor representing all the other volunteers.”
In May of 2010, Young and his parents, Wayne and Dee Young, met Mike Matthiessen at Tournament House in Pasadena, promoting the NPS 100th anniversary as the 2016 Tournament of Roses theme. They also shared information concerning their experiences visiting the NPS sites, the Junior Ranger program, and the NPS as an educational tool.
Also riding on the float will be other NPS and Tournament of Roses dignitaries.
Young is an active promoter of the National Park Service setting up displays and giving talks to share information about National Park Service sites, the Junior Ranger program, and using the National Park Service as an educational tool and resource. Young participates in Christians on Campus and a men’s Bible study. His leisure activities include ballroom dancing and 1800’s period dancing. Barrett hopes to have a career working in the National Park Service.
Young is a homeschool graduate and a student at Fort Scott Community College. An avid traveler, Young has been to all 50 states and has visited 379 of the 409 National Park Service sites as well as 49 National Park Service affiliated sites throughout the country. To date, Young has completed more than 390 Junior/Senior Ranger programs.
While the Young family is in California, they will be involved with a number of promotional events for the NPS. One will be a brand new event being held at the Pasadena Convention Center, Live on Green. This includes a celebration of the National Park Centennial to go along with the collaboration between the NPS and the Tournament of Roses.
In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, Fort Larned National Historic Site invites you to discover the meaning of national parks, how your park inspires you — both in personal connections and memorable experiences.
Fort Larned National Historic Site is six miles west of Larned on K-156. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., information on visiting is on the internet at www.nps.gov/fols, or by calling 620-285-6911. There is no admission fee.
Learn more at www.nps.gov.