Hot Springs National Park is celebrating a monumental birthday this year.
The Arkansas-based park will be turning 100 on Thursday, March 4, and the federal recreation ground is planning to hold a socially-distanced event to commemorate the occasion.
Visitors will be welcomed to birthday cupcakes outside the park’s Fordyce Bathhouse between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time, according to a press release about the event. A themed photo booth will also be present so guests can capture birthday photos.
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Officials from the City of Hot Springs will be riding in on a horse-drawn carriage to deliver a proclamation that makes March 4 “Hot Springs National Park Day.”
For the safety of everyone who attends the event, wearing a face mask is mandatory thanks to an executive action put in place by President Joe Biden last month.
Social distancing will be encouraged “wherever possible,” according to Hot Springs National Park’s news release.
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When the event is over, visitors can choose to explore the park’s 4,400-year-old thermal springs at the base of Hot Springs Mountain. There are 47 springs available for viewing throughout the federally-protected land.
Seven out of eight of the park’s bathhouses are open for limited services, such as concession and restroom use, according to current alerts and conditions listed on the National Park Service website.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 1.5 million people were visiting Hot Springs National Park annually.
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Hot Springs National Park is in central Garland County, Arkansas. It is home to 47 geothermal springs and eight bathhouses. (iStock)
In the park’s last 100 years of existence, it had become known as “The American Spa.”
Moreover, it is one of the oldest national parks in the country with a history that even predates the National Park Service (which was created in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson).
Congress passed an act that created the Hot Springs Reservation in 1832 for outdoor recreation. Eighty-nine years later on March 4, 1921, the reservation was taken on by the NPS and was renamed as Hot Springs National Park.
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The park is the only federally-controlled hot spring destination in the country that is available for bathing.