A Monumental Experience

July 2, 2015Hollis BoweNPF Blog

As I queued for the ferry, I couldn’t believe I was finally about to meet one of the most famous women in America. Her face, instantly recognizable, glowed in New York’s afternoon sun and I could imagine how hundreds of thousands of immigrants felt upon seeing it as they arrived to start their new lives in the United States.

I’d always wanted to visit Statue of Liberty National Monument. She is a powerful symbol of freedom and democracy, a uniquely American landmark that has been cared for by the National Park Service since 1933. And thanks to Budweiser, I had the opportunity to experience Lady Liberty in a wholly original and unforgettable way.

I managed to snag a ticket to Budweiser’s Made in America concert at Liberty Island on June 21, featuring singer Mary J. Blige. This concert was part of Budweiser's Monument Series, which is bringing monumental music experiences to some of America's most iconic places. The series is a celebration of America and the values that we embody - freedom, hard work and authenticity.

Hand holding Budweiser beer in front of Statue of Liberty

Between the burgers, Budweiser, and music, concert-goers had a proverbial buffet for the senses as we walked around Liberty Island. You don’t realize how immense — and powerful — the Statue is until you are standing in front of her. She was assembled by everyday Americans as a monument to our nation’s values and beliefs, and I'm grateful that she is cared for by the National Park Service so that she remains open for all to experience.

It was a true honor to be at this American icon to see a performance by another American icon, Mary J. Blige. It was an amazing show - capped off with a big fireworks display - and it inspired me to find out where else I could experience live concerts in national parks. It turns out that there are dozens of concerts held in parks all over the country, featuring everything from major musical stars, to local bands, to symphonies and philharmonics. There are even national parks dedicated to presenting live music, including Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts!

Concert stage with Budweiser image displayed on screen

The Budweiser Made in America concert reinforced the idea that national parks are so much more than places that protect our stories of days past — they can also be sites of contemporary cultural events where new memories and history is made! It was an experience I will never forget.

With summer officially here, it’s the perfect time to get out there and #FindYourPark in any of the incredible gems of the National Park System. Concerts in national parks are just one way to discover the magnificence of these places. As we prepare to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, be sure to set out and discover your passion in national parks.

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