Glen Echo Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Glen Echo Park (U.S. National Park Service) Glen Echo Park's official page, maintained by NPS employees, is for info & discussion. For more info, please visit www.nps.gov/glec or call 301-320-1400.
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Located six miles northwest of Georgetown along the scenic Potomac River palisades, Glen Echo Park began in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly "to promote liberal and practical education." By 1900, the park was on its way to becoming what would be the premier amusement park in the Washington area until 1968. Since 1971, the National Park Service has owned and operated the site with the help of its partnership organization the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Montgomery County, and the local community. The park has come full circle and, harking back to its Chautauqua days, now offers year-round cultural and recreational activities. It is one of the most unique National Park Service cultural resource sites in the country.

Operating as usual

12/24/2018

During the federal government shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media. However, Glen Echo Park and all facilities, including restrooms, remain open and programming is on-going through our partnership with Montgomery County.

01/22/2018

During a Federal government shutdown, we do not monitor or update social media. Some park areas are accessible, however access may change without notice, and there are no NPS­-provided services. For more information visit www.nps.gov/glec/

At Glen Echo Park, cyclists often gather before riding along MacArthur Boulevard. In an effort to bring safety and a lit...
09/12/2014

At Glen Echo Park, cyclists often gather before riding along MacArthur Boulevard. In an effort to bring safety and a little history to bikers and walkers alike, work is being done on a shared use path through Glen Echo over our historic trolley bridge. When completed the path will give recreational cyclists and pedestrians safe passage with views of Minnehaha Creek, as well as a chance to cross the trolley bridge for the first time since its closure in 1960.

If you have visited the park recently, you may have noticed the bridge is all covered up while we're working on it. Here are some behind the scenes progress pictures of the work so far:

Today is Ranger Vanessa Smiley's last day! She has been an integral part of the interpretative staff at both Glen Echo a...
08/07/2014

Today is Ranger Vanessa Smiley's last day! She has been an integral part of the interpretative staff at both Glen Echo and Clara Barton National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) since 2010! Vanessa is moving on to Morristown National Historical Park as their new Chief of Interpretation. If you see her around the park today, make sure to offer congratulations and thank her for all her hard work!

Many know the amusement park history of Glen Echo, and reminders of this story can be seen around the park in our histor...
08/05/2014

Many know the amusement park history of Glen Echo, and reminders of this story can be seen around the park in our historic facades and buildings. It can be easy to forget Glen Echo Park's origins as the 53rd Chautauqua without visual aids.

Glen Echo's amphitheater ruins are a memento of the Baltzley Brothers' original dream. Edwin Baltzley wrote that their Chautauqua would combine "the attractions of a summer-resort with the intellectual delights of an old-time Academia and the scope and general view of a university."

The Chautauqua's amphitheater, built in 1891, had a seating capacity of 8,000. On May 19, 1891, the Washington Post described the amphitheater in awed tones, declaring, "The Amphitheatre [sic] fairly overpowers the beholder with its immense proportions."

Though ultimately unsuccessful, the Baltzley Brothers certainly dreamed big. The amphitheater ruins can be seen today from the Minnehaha Creek overlook.

Make a funny face! Ranger Smiley matches facial expressions with some of our carousel friends!One of the reasons our Den...
08/04/2014

Make a funny face! Ranger Smiley matches facial expressions with some of our carousel friends!

One of the reasons our Dentzel carousel is so special is the beautiful detailed animals. Gustav Dentzel was known for his intricately carved animals and their wonderful facial expressions. Each animal has its own personality, and we invite you to visit and pick your favorite!

We've been getting a lot of comparisons between our ranger hats and Pharrell Williams hats... so who do you think wore i...
08/03/2014

We've been getting a lot of comparisons between our ranger hats and Pharrell Williams hats... so who do you think wore it better? (We're a little bit biased on this one.. we vote the ostrich!)

Either way the flat hat has been around since 1916, and as we get closer to our centennial celebrations in 2016 we can expect to see the flat hat remain a symbol of the National Park Service for the next century!

Sometimes we are so captivated by the present that we forget the past. Today, thousands of people ride the carousel ever...
08/02/2014

Sometimes we are so captivated by the present that we forget the past. Today, thousands of people ride the carousel every year, marveling in the carousel's beauty and the thrill of the ride. But until 1961, not everyone was allowed to share in that experience.

This picture shows a photo of the past overlaid onto a photo of the present, and reveals a piece of the Civil Rights story of Glen Echo Park. In 1960, local citizens, both black and white, protested Glen Echo Amusement Park's policy of segregation. Thanks to their efforts, the amusement park opened its doors to all visitors in 1961.

Happy #WorldRangerDay!World Ranger Day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the wo...
07/31/2014

Happy #WorldRangerDay!

World Ranger Day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures. For more information, check out http://internationalrangers.org/world-ranger-day/.

Then and Now: Check out this original 1891 photo of the Chautauqua grounds in comparison to what the view looks like tod...
07/23/2014

Then and Now: Check out this original 1891 photo of the Chautauqua grounds in comparison to what the view looks like today. As you can see from this blending of two photos - one from 1891 and one from today - things have certainly changed over the years! But the stone tower remains the solitary witness to 120+ years of the park's history and will continue to do so for this and future generations.

07/12/2014

Our pair of red-tailed hawks were both quite visible and vocal this morning, chatting back and forth from across the park. In this video, you can just make out one of the hawks at the top of the tree. At the 0:06 mark you can hear the other hawk screeching from nearby. At the 0:17 mark, you can hear the hawk in view responding.

07/03/2014

A Civil War Song at a Civil Rights Park

We sometimes post videos about the carousel or band organ that includes some sort of music but we rarely talk about the music itself. The peppy tune featured in this video caught one of our ranger's attention, as did the fact that Bert, the main carousel operator, was changing one of the rolls. After doing some research, the story behind this piece was quite surprising and offers a new layer to the soundscape of the park.

The song, titled "Listen to the Mockingbird", was originally composed back just before the Civil War. The tune was composed by an African-American musician named Richard Milburn and the lyrics were written by Septimus Winner under the pseudonym "Alice Hawthorne."

Despite the lively tune, the song itself is quite melancholy as it tells the story of the singer's dead lover and the mockingbird that sings over the lover's grave. The song became quite popular during the American Civil War and Lincoln himself loved the song, saying "It is as sincere as the laughter of a little girl at play."

As the decades passed, the song was covered and used by others. And today, it was played on the band organ as we're sure it has many times in the past, as visitors rode the carousel - a carousel that was once part of a segregated amusement park and was the location of a sit-in protest of that policy of segregation - just a day after the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Four years after the Civil Rights protest at Glen Echo Amusement Park, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Righ...
07/02/2014

Four years after the Civil Rights protest at Glen Echo Amusement Park, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The nation had come pretty far in those four small years between the original sit-in on the carousel here at the park and the signing of the Civil Rights Act. How far have we come in 50 years?

#50YearsAgo, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The landmark bill outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Read the act here: http://to.pbs.org/1k8yWJp
You can also watch our doc, "LBJ" streaming free: http://to.pbs.org/1nWCWLh

Ranger Gardner gives a commemorative Civil Rights program to an audience that includes several original participants of ...
06/29/2014

Ranger Gardner gives a commemorative Civil Rights program to an audience that includes several original participants of the June 30, 1960, sit-in protest at the carousel.

Someone's taking advantage of #NationalGetOutdoorsDay by partaking in an outdoor breakfast here at the park! One half of...
06/14/2014

Someone's taking advantage of #NationalGetOutdoorsDay by partaking in an outdoor breakfast here at the park! One half of our mating pair of Red-tailed hawks has selected squirrel from the menu and graciously allowed the rangers to snap some photos. What are YOU doing to #getoutdoors today??

Attention visitors! It's that time of year when the resident baby birds are trying to learn to fly. Like any kiddo attem...
06/12/2014

Attention visitors! It's that time of year when the resident baby birds are trying to learn to fly. Like any kiddo attempting to learn something new, it takes some practice and patience... And a resting break every now and then. So we ask our visitors over the coming days to please watch your step and not to bother these little birds as they work on their confidence to take to the skies!

06/11/2014
Happy Trails (Two Step)

Ever wonder how our 1926 Wurlitzer band organ works? Here's a different view to help uncover the mystery!

FREE EVENT encouraging healthy and active outdoor fun!   On Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm the George W...
06/11/2014

FREE EVENT encouraging healthy and active outdoor fun!

On Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm the George Washington Memorial Parkway- GWMP (U.S. National Park Service) invites the public to join park staff, volunteers, and local organizations to celebrate “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” and National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day!).

This free event will be at Belle Haven Park, 6401 George Washington Memorial Pkwy, Alexandria, Virginia 22307. The event will feature:

Obstacle Course
Arts n Crafts
Solar Cooking Demonstrations
A live Owl and Hawk from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia
The Friend of Dyke Marsh will have interactive and hands-on learning activities
Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre will present a puppet show and quizzes.
Safety One will provide outdoor safety information.
Naturalist Program
Leave No Trace Program
Art in the Park Program
Mt. Vernon Trail Patrol bike and trail safety information

For more information, contact 703-235-1530 ext. 232.

This Saturday, June 14, another part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will be holding a special event as part of National Get Outdoors Day. "Healthy Parks, Healthy People" will be held at Belle Haven Park from 10 AM - 3 PM.

Please see the event page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1432095780395425/

Congratulations to Dolores Morisseau on winning our region's "Enduring Service Volunteer" Hartzog Award!! Dolores has sp...
06/04/2014

Congratulations to Dolores Morisseau on winning our region's "Enduring Service Volunteer" Hartzog Award!! Dolores has spent 14 years volunteering and dedicating her time to our sister park, Great Falls Park. Considering her thousands of hours she's committed to the park over the years, she has earned this award a thousand times over. We are so proud and excited for her. Congrats Dolores!

"When a volunteer agrees to share his or her talents, skills, and interests with the National Park Service, he or she is...
06/04/2014

"When a volunteer agrees to share his or her talents, skills, and interests with the National Park Service, he or she is paying us one of the highest compliments possible by offering a most valued possession - his or her time."

Happening now: volunteers from around the region are being honored at this year's Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service, taking place in the historic Bumper Car Pavilion here at the park. We love our volunteers! Congrats to all the nominees and winners!!

Happening now: the 34th Annual Washington Folk Festival has officially begun!
05/31/2014

Happening now: the 34th Annual Washington Folk Festival has officially begun!

The 34th Annual Washington Folk Festival is almost here! Final preparations are underway and we'll be ready to go once S...
05/28/2014

The 34th Annual Washington Folk Festival is almost here! Final preparations are underway and we'll be ready to go once Saturday arrives.

PLEASE REMEMBER that parking on site is VERY LIMITED for both days and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the satellite parking lot with FREE shuttle service to the festival.

The weather is looking perfect for the weekend - mostly sunny and in the upper-70s - so we're expecting large crowds. Please plan your visit accordingly by wearing sunscreen, drinking lots of water, and don't forget to bring the camera and a little bit of patience. There is so much to enjoy that it'll be worth the wait!

Check out the Folklore Society of Greater Washington's webpage about the festival for more information: http://www.washingtonfolkfestival.org/

05/15/2014

Guess which carousel animal stole... ahem, "borrowed" a Ranger hat again and took it for a ride around the carousel?

Bonus points for anyone who can name the song the band organ is playing in the video.

What’s in a name? That which we call a spoon by any other name would still scoop.Anyone a collector of souvenir spoons?W...
05/08/2014

What’s in a name? That which we call a spoon by any other name would still scoop.

Anyone a collector of souvenir spoons?

Whether or not you do, this little museum collection piece is still pretty neat to see. It's a sterling silver souvenir spoon from the Glen Echo Chautauqua and is currently on display inside the Ranger Station. The building depicted on the bowl of the spoon is the amphitheater, whose ruins you can see along the Minnehaha Creek bed.

Glen Echo Park Museum Collection, GLEC 352

Family Day Event, May 4, 2013
05/07/2014

Family Day Event, May 4, 2013

Share your Family Day experience at Glen Echo Park with us!Remember when one of our carousel horses stole a ranger's iPh...
05/03/2014

Share your Family Day experience at Glen Echo Park with us!

Remember when one of our carousel horses stole a ranger's iPhone for a #CarouselHorseSelfie? Well, today, we want to see YOUR #CarouselSelfie!

Follow the example of our very own Ranger Smiley's #CarouselSelfie or the #CarouselHorseSelfie and take a photo of yourself on the carousel - or anywhere else in the park!

Then tag us on Facebook or use @GlenEchoParkNPS on your Instagram to share it with us and others.

You can use one of the following suggested hashtags:
#CarouselSelfie
#GlenEchoSelfie
#CarouselHorseSelfie
#FamilyDaySelfie

OR create your own hashtag (family friendly please!)

But most importantly, enjoy your day at Glen Echo Park!

05/02/2014
Carousel Opens in Just ONE DAY From Now

We are ONE DAY AWAY from the opening of the carousel for the 2014 season! To get you in the carousel mood (if you aren't already), we wanted to share this video from yesterday. The volunteers from Marriott got to ride the very carousel they helped clean up in anticipation of Saturday's season opening.

Bonus points to anyone who can name the song that's playing in the video!

Marriott staff volunteer their time to helping Glen Echo Park look top notch for Family Day in just a few days! THANK YO...
05/01/2014

Marriott staff volunteer their time to helping Glen Echo Park look top notch for Family Day in just a few days! THANK YOU MARRIOTT!!

Marriott staff volunteer their time to helping Glen Echo Park look top notch for Family Day in just a few days! THANK YOU MARRIOTT!!

Happening now: volunteers from Marriott are beautifying the park so it's ready for Family Day THIS Saturday! Activities ...
05/01/2014

Happening now: volunteers from Marriott are beautifying the park so it's ready for Family Day THIS Saturday! Activities include mulch spreading, planting, painting, and cleaning the Spanish Ballroom and carousel. Thank you volunteers!!

We don't think the ostrich is following proper NPS flat hat regulations... #flathatproblems #glenechopark #dentzelcarous...
04/24/2014

We don't think the ostrich is following proper NPS flat hat regulations... #flathatproblems #glenechopark #dentzelcarousel

Today marks the beginning of #NationalParkWeek! This year's theme is "Go Wild!" here at Glen Echo Park, we invite you to...
04/19/2014

Today marks the beginning of #NationalParkWeek! This year's theme is "Go Wild!" here at Glen Echo Park, we invite you to go wild for the Dentzel Carousel, which opens in just TWO WEEKS!

Learn more about National Park Week at http://www.nationalparks.org/national-park-week.

Today's NPS Site Birthday is for Natural Bridges National Monument! Founded on April 16, 1908, this Utah site boosts thr...
04/16/2014
Natural Bridges National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

Today's NPS Site Birthday is for Natural Bridges National Monument! Founded on April 16, 1908, this Utah site boosts three majestic natural bridges named "Kachina," "Owachomo," and "Sipapu" in honor of the Native Americans that once made that area their home.

Happy birthday Natural Bridges NM!

Three majestic natural bridges invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. View them from an overlook, or hit the trails and experience their grandeur from below. Declared a National Monument in 1908, the bridges are named "Kachina," "Owachomo" and "Sipapu"...

Family Day, 2014
04/16/2014

Family Day, 2014

Today's NPS Site Birthday is for Appomattox Court House National Historical Park! Founded on April 15, 1954, this site i...
04/15/2014
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Today's NPS Site Birthday is for Appomattox Court House National Historical Park! Founded on April 15, 1954, this site is located in Virginia and commemorates Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, that signaled the end of the American Civil War.

Happy birthday Appomattox Court House NHP!

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Address

7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, MD
20812

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Sign up now to learn all about colors in all sorts of mediums! https://www.facebook.com/events/2372246782864969/
Looks beautiful.
Vary fancy now!
We’ve been posting a lot of the tunes that’ll get you all riled on the dance floor – but when John Jorgenson Quintet comes to Glen Echo on September 11th – he might get a little romantic too – info and tickets at imtfolk.org - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWpSDc-cgok
A little sample of what Institute of Musical Traditions is bringing to the Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom on Tuesday, September 11th - info and tickets at imtfolk.org - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3ETqgd9Ojo
September 11th, Institute of Musical Traditions brings John Jorgenson Quintet to Rockville for a DANCE – come out to Glen Echo Park on September 11th – hosting a Gypsy Jazz Swing Dance EVENT with the John Jorgenson Quintet providing the music, from 7-8pm we’ll have a workshop for the new dancers, and then it’s on with the SWING. Tickets and info at imtfolk.org. https://www.facebook.com/events/251555258833215/
Rose Miller - I had no idea this place was still open. We used to go there alot when we were kids. Mom loved to play the slots.
My family and I had a great time at this park today! Highly recommend to anyone thinking about visiting.
Ready for the 2018 season!