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Tradition Revived: The Stars and Stripes Open Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen gorge scalers revived a tradition possibly dating back to the 1930s when they unfurled the stars and stripes to open the famed park.

Fred Bonn, Regional Director for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation was quite pleased when he said, “We are here to re-imagine and reintroduce what had been a tradition at Watkins Glen State Park”

Scaling members from Finger Lakes Scaling Team revived a tradition dating back as far as the 1930s and 40s. Relying on old photographs of the park from the archives, scalers were seen using the American flag as a banner to open the park and now officials are anxious to restart the tradition.

As much as this is a feel-good use of our cherished flag, feel free to stop for a moment and remember our hero veterans.

The unfurling happened Wednesday May 25 and Bonn was quick to say that our flag was honored properly. The flag, he said, would only hang on that day partly because the scaling teams and park crews would not be able to keep the flag clean throughout the season, but more precisely because the park could not keep Old Glory illuminated at night.

Watkins Glen State Park is located near the Schuyler County village of Watkins Glen, NY at the south end of Seneca Lake.

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Tradition Revived: The Stars and Stripes Open Watkins Glen State Park