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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: May 15, 2013
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Summer Starts Memorial Day Weekend in Virginia State Parks

(RICHMOND) - While the official start of summer is June 21, the summer season begins in Virginia State Parks Memorial Day Weekend.

Guarded swimming at pools and lakes, as well as snack bars, open Saturday, May 25. Swimming and snack bar operation times vary by park, so while making plans to visit, contact the park for details or check

Although many parks offer self-guided and limited ranger-led programming year-round, Memorial Day weekend is the start of more regularly scheduled guided programs in the parks. From paddling programs and other outdoor recreation activities to programs on Virginia's rich nature, culture and history, so much can be found at a nearby Virginia State Park. To search by park, date or type of program, visit here.

Several parks are offering special events over the holiday weekend.

The amphitheater at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield will kick-off the weekend May 24 with a concert by the legendary Bill Deal's Original Rhondels.

Memorial Day weekend would not be the same without the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival at Sky Meadows State Park, May 25-26. This year marks the 20th anniversary of family fun and strawberries.

Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap will host Gathering in the Gap May 25, celebrating southwest Virginia's rich tradition of old-time, bluegrass, blues and Americana music. Enjoy performances by regionally and nationally renowned musicians including John Carter Cash, Mountain Heart, Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, and Dave Eggar and Deoro with Amber Rubarth.

For a complete listing of scheduled programs and events from May 24 to 27, visit

Virginia State Parks, managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, have more than 1,800 campsites and 300 climate-controlled cabins. For more information, all the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit



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