By Dawn H. Davis for Island Eye News
Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site welcomed over 940,000 visitors in 2016. This year also marked the National Park Service Centennial. In 2016, 888,330 people came to Fort Sumter, an increase of 5.66 percent over 2015. For Charles Pinckney NHS, 53,184 visitors explored the park, which is an amazing 13.17 percent increase over the previous year.
“We anticipated more visitors in 2016 as the NPS celebrated its centennial, and the final numbers were remarkable. While visitors came to the parks for a variety of reasons, all had an opportunity to be immersed in the history of this nation and gain an understanding of how we have been shaped by significant, historical events,” stated Superintendent Tim Stone.
The park planned a wide array of programs and events to attract diverse audiences of all ages. Centennial programs and events included: the release of South Carolina’s America the Beautiful® quarter, featuring Fort Moultrie; numerous black powder demonstrations at Fort Sumter; a celebration of George Washington’s visit to Snee Farm; a Naturalization Ceremony on the grounds of the Charles Pinckney NHS; the Wings Across South Carolina Bird BioBlitz held at both Fort Moultrie and Charles Pinckney NHS; stargazing programs at Fort Moultrie, and the 100 birthday celebration held in August at all sites. All of these special programs and the launch of the FindYourPark/EncuentraTuParque with the National Park Foundation, helped increased visitor connections with their National Park sites during the NPS Centennial year.