Gulf Islands National Seashore officials announced fee free entry to all sites Monday, February 20, 2017, in celebration of Presidents Day. National Parks throughout the country annually waive entrance fees on Presidents Day. Officially known as Washington’s Birthday the day is set aside to honor and reflect on the contributions of President George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. All national seashore areas, including Fort Pickens, will offer free entry.
Washington’s Birthday was originally established as federal holiday in 1879, and celebrated annually on February 22. In 1971, Congress as part of an effort to make federal holidays more uniform moved the holiday to the third Monday in February. Since then the holiday has taken on the name Presidents Day, and many use the holiday celebrate all Presidents, however the holiday is still officially known as Washington’s Birthday.
Learn more about the holiday and its history by visiting the National Archives site: https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/winter/gw-birthday-1.html
All park areas and visitor centers will be open on their normal hours. Find a full list of park programming at www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/calendar.htm. Park offices and the Naval Live Oaks exhibits at park headquarters will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday.