Mine Kill State Park hosts summer festival

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North Blenheim — What better place to celebrate the best season of the year than at Mine Kill State Park! Mine Kill State Park, overlooking the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir, will be hosting Summer Fest 2013 at its one-of-a-kind pool complex on Saturday, July 20. The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m., and will include a litany of special guests, music, free ice cream and fun-filled programs for everyone!

Summer Fest 2013 will feature dozens of activities and presenters for the entire family. Volunteers can sign up for a tremendous opportunity to experience life as a Forest Ranger when New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Ranger Bill Henry conducts a mock search and rescue operation. Explore the Incident Command Post used by the DEC during a real SAR and listen to Bill provide details regarding the procedure to successfully find a lost hiker. Take a walk inside the Mine Kill Nature Tent to learn all about New York’s largest wildlife with the NY Big Game presentation also presented by the NYS DEC. Become educated on invasive species that are in or approaching our area with the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership. Then enjoy a guided eagle hike with a park ranger along Mine Kill’s eight miles of hiking trails including the Long Path. Don’t forget to check out the NY Wildlife Rescue Center’s raptor presentation with Wes Laraway (as seen on National Geographic) to learn about many other birds of prey, and the entire family will love watching Ziggy the Horse perform unbelievable tricks!

Kids’ fun
Kids will have an opportunity to jump in the Bounce House or take a shot at “The Flusher” for some prizes. There will also be plenty of arts and crafts, face painting, pie throwing and even a scavenger hunt for children of all ages.

Have you ever been geocaching? Meet Greg, a geocache expert, and learn all about this technological treasure hunt using GPS units. Then get your throwing arm ready and give disc golf a try around the Mine Kill pool complex in pursuit of a hole in one.
Great music will be provided throughout the day courtesy of Mr. Music DJ Services in addition to a handful of live musicians. Of course, take advantage of Mine Kill’s Olympic-size pool and amazing dive tank to beat the heat in between Summer Fest activities. Enjoy a sandwich, salad or other refreshments at the pool’s concessionaire.

Entrance fees for Summer Festival are just $3 per vehicle. To jump in the pool area, the cost is only $2 for adults (13+) and $1 for seniors (62+) and children 6 to 12. Kids five and under swim for free! As a reminder, Summer Festival will be hosted around the pool area and pool usage is encouraged, but not necessary to enjoy the day’s events. Pool entrance fees will not apply if you are not using the pools.

Also before, during and after Mine Kill’s Summer Festival, don’t forget to stop by the Environmental Education Nature Tent located by the pool. The Nature Tent is geared toward kids of all ages and adults alike and will feature a different environmental theme each week in July, Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Beetle Buster Week is from July 16, 17 and 18 and is sponsored by CRISP and the NYS DEC with lots of informative and fun games for the whole family.
For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks. com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.