Hosted within the park itself in Wyoming, the Yellowstone National Park Quarter was officially launched today at a ceremony attended by several dignitaries including United States Mint Director Ed Moy.
Beginning at 10:30 AM (Mountain Time) with a singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," Master of Ceremonies Park Public Affairs Officer Al Nash greeted all who came to the event despite the less than favorable weather. In fact, the function was moved inside the Old Faithful Lodge Recreation Hall instead of outside the Old Faithful Inn as originally scheduled. With 45 degree weather and drizzle, no one in the crowd seemed to mind the change of venue.
Still just steps from the famous Old Faithful Geyser, Master of Ceremonies Nash introduced the first guest speaker, Gene Bryan, Wyoming Tourism Board Member and then comments were read from Wyoming’s congressional representatives. Up next, historian and author Paul Schullery was called upon to speak a few words about Yellowstone.
Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park Suzanne Lewis spent a few minutes thanking all who were involved in the creation of the Yellowstone National Park Quarter, including the state of Wyoming and the US Mint. She even made reference to the previous 50-State Quarters Program from the Mint which serves as a template for the current American the Beautiful Quarters™ Program.
"We are excited to be able to kick off the summer visitor season with the debut of this quarter," proclaimed Lewis in her statement. "The images depicted on the coin of a bison and Old Faithful offer a sense of the special nature of Yellowstone."
Last to take the stand was Director Ed Moy who spoke of the new quarters program and the design elements involved with them. He also recalled his own fond memories of Yellowstone from his childhood and related how the coins can do the same for others:
"When Americans pull this coin out of their pockets, some will remember fond memories of their family vacation in Yellowstone, others will be inspired to visit Yellowstone to create new memories," commented Moy.
"Many Americans will make the connection to their rich history as a Nation and the extraordinary natural resources of Wyoming."
With the ceremony officially over and the Yellowstone strike unveiled on the stage, all children eighteen and under were given a free new Yellowstone Quarter just for attending the function. Adults (many of which were already in line) queued up to exchange cash for rolls of the new strikes. (The public can purchase bags and quarter rolls directly from the Mint’s online store.)
Now the public will have to wait until the end of July before a new America the Beautiful strike becomes available. That is when the Yosemite National Park Quarter, third in the series, will be released. A ceremony is planned to be held inside the park as well which is located in California.