Photo courtesy Jeri Burzin
Every year, January through March, over 30 member businesses in Three Rivers, Sequoia National Park, and the surrounding gateway communities honor our current and former members of the Armed Forces and Veterans with 20 percent off thank you discounts for three months — and you can enjoy that discount for lodging, restaurants, services and products. A few exceptions/limitations apply.
To start the year out right, you might want to begin with the hilarious Polar Dip in the icy Kaweah River which takes place on Jan. 1 right outside the Gateway Restaurant and Lodge in Three Rivers. At the Gateway, two forks of the Kaweah River meet and flow beneath a classic bridge with triple arches built in the 1920s. After your plunge, enjoy some free hot clam chowder and cocoa, courtesy of the Gateway.
Take a drive along the Generals Highway into Sequoia National Park’s “Giant Forest,” park at the Giant Forest Museum, and join a Ranger-led snowshoe walk to see the huge cinnamon-colored trunks of the largest trees on earth rising above the snow.
Some years, Mother Nature brings us more snow than others. No matter the year, these ancient trees will fill your soul with their strength, their endurance and their amazing ability to survive and adapt to whatever Nature provides. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/newsreleases.htm.
Rent skis or snowshoes at Wuksachi Village and set out to discover the many wonders and awe-inspiring beauty of Sequoia National Park. In the hush of winter, experience the peace of the ancients.
We dare you to climb Moro Rock (weather-permitting), but be safe! In the photo, the Rock is dry and the climber is tethered.
However, by Saturday, Jan. 5, be sure that you head back in to Three Rivers, so you can enjoy our free all-town “1st Saturday” festival of food, fun and fabulous art; taking your time, and exploring the Three Rivers Historical Museum with its outdoor Native American exhibits, exploring Reimer’s gourmet icecream and chocolate factory, and discovering the unique-item shops, art galleries, and art studios for which Three Rivers is justifiably famous.
Photo courtesy Jamie Kim
Then to enjoy our first 2013 Hero Appreciation Months event, return to the Park on Saturday, Jan. 19 for our Snowman-building contest. It is held in a lovely meadow right outside Wuksachi Lodge. Couples and families work hard to build their snowman, every family wins a prize, and free hot spiced cider is served, courtesy of Wuksachi Lodge and the Sequoia Foothills Hero Appreciation Months program.
That same evening, our Tulare County Symphony orchestra returns to the historic Fox Theatre in nearby downtown Visalia to perform passionate and colorful music from Carmen on a program that celebrates the best loved of all French music.
NEW to the Hero Appreciation Months program this year: Our single “Learn to Square Dance Party” has expanded to become a series of four Learn-to-Square-Dance Parties. With WWII Veteran and retired professional caller Mark Robb calling the shots, these hilarious Parties will be held on Wednesday nights in February at the Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building.
On the last Friday in March, we honor Armed Forces/Veterans and their families with refreshments, stories, and awards, at 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Historical Museum located at 42268 Sierra Drive in Three Rivers, California.
And we close out the 2013 Heroes program with the ever-popular Picnic with Bathtub Race, which will be held at Lake Kaweah’s beautiful “Kaweah Recreation Area” on Saturday March 30th from 11-4.
By Thanksgiving, you can check out the list of lodging facilities, restaurants, service providers and retail outlets that are proud to offer the Hero Appreciation Month’s military discount, at http://threerivers.com. Just select “Events Page”, then select “Hero Appreciation Months” from the drop-down Menu.
All the details will be there — in addition to an Honor Role and a Blog which chronicles the history of our program.
As always, we deeply appreciate, and we are proud to support, the dedicated men and women of our Armed Services and their families. God bless you, and we hope to see you in Three Rivers and Sequoia National Park in 2013.