The Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park announced plans for the sixth annual “National Treasures” event. On Thursday, Aug. 28, between 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. the iconic gates of Point Park will be thrown open for a casual evening of celebration in the local National Park.
This year’s Party at Point Park celebrates the 125th anniversary of The Blue and Gray Barbecue – the 1889 picnic that brought Union and Confederate veterans back to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields to commemorate the establishment of the country’s first federally protected Civil War battlefield. The original Blue and Gray Barbecue is the event that veterans marked as the reunification of the North and South where former enemies gathered as friends, ate together as brothers, and passed the “pipe of peace.” This year, guests will gather atop Lookout Mountain to enjoy an evening of bluegrass music from The Dismembered Tennesseans, a full menu of slow cooked barbecue, drinks, and an opportunity to toast the local National Park.
National Treasures Chair Becky Browder said, “This is the third year that Point Park has hosted National Treasures. Especially this year, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Blue and Gray Barbecue, Point Park offers a scenic setting for a picnic celebrating our National Park. The New York Peace Monument, which is the only monument in the park system where soldiers in blue and gray are seen shaking hands, is the perfect backdrop for the nationally acclaimed Dismembered Tennesseans.
”Along with bluegrass music, the evening promises to be one of food, fun, and facts about the original picnic when guests get to go on a 'trip around Point Park' to various trivia stations. This is the only time we can Party at Point Park and we want everyone to enjoy a party in the National Park."
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park receives an annual federal allocation that covers its basic operations, but includes only a fraction of the money needed to maintain, repair, restore, and interpret the historic and cultural features spread across its 9,100 acres. Each year, the proceeds from National Treasures assist the Friends in providing additional funding to the Park to help with educational programming, restoration projects, and visitor services.
Annually, more than one million people visit the seven units of the Park and a 2013 independent study found that those visitors add more than $61 million to the greater Chattanooga area economy – supporting 867 local jobs. National Treasures insures that the Friends are able to assist the Park with restoration and education efforts that continue to inspire visitors whether they are studying history, admiring the beauty of the landscape, or enjoying a recreational activity, Ms. Bowder said.
Tickets for National Treasures are $75 each or $130 per couple and are available via PayPal credit card purchases at www.friendsofchch.org or by check, made payable and mailed to Friends of the Park, P.O. Box 748, Chattanooga, TN 37401. The reservation deadline is Aug. 22. Reservations include food, beverages, activities, and a tax deductible donation to the Friends. (Guests will receive written documentation for their donations.)
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park spans the boundaries of Tennessee and Georgia. Its major units include Chickamauga Battlefield, Lookout Mountain Battlefield, Missionary Ridge, Orchard Knob, Signal Point and Moccasin Bend. Our National Park preserves forever the American history and natural beauty of its spaces, commemorating vivid stories of conflict, change, reconciliation and reunion. The Friends of the Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and enhancing the units of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park for the benefit of the American public. For more information on National Treasures and the work of the Friends, visit www.friendsofchch.org or call the Friends at (423) 648-5623.