Marking the Journey

Above: The event in Hartford and Wood River, Ill., will feature re-enactors and fife and drum corps. Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial photo

Below: Re-enactors portraying the Corps of Discovery on the banks of Independence Creek where it empties into the Missouri River near Atchison, Kan. Teresa Garrison photo

Before You Go
For more information about Lewis and Clark Signature Events, contact the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial at 1-888-999-1803, or visit the Web site

Stop by your nearest AAA service office for maps, reservations, TripTiks and TourBook guides. View a list of offices.

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National signature events commemorate the bicentennial
of the bold and daring Lewis and Clark Expedition.

B Y   L I Z   G A U G E R

uring the next three years, communities across the country will observe the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial has designated the following as National Signature Events, high-profile celebrations at key sites along the Corps of Discovery’s route.
The events, listed in chronological order, include historical re-enactments, educational programs, tours and other activities.


Three Flags Ceremony
March 10–14 • St. Louis
Commemorating the transfer of Louisiana Purchase lands from Spain to France to the United States 200 years ago, the celebration includes a ceremony at the Gateway Arch. For information, call (314) 516-5255; or click on

Expedition’s Departure: Camp River DuBois
May 13–16 • Hartford and Wood River, Ill.
A re-enactment of the expedition’s departure is a highlight of this event. 1-800-224-2970;

St. Charles: Preparations Complete, The Expedition Faces West
May 14–23 • St. Charles, Mo.
Costumed interpreters represent residents of 1804 St. Charles. Fife and drum corps will perform. 1-800-366-2427;

Heart of America: A Journey Fourth
July 3-4 • Kansas City, Mo., and Atchison and Leavenworth, Kan.
Commemorating the first Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi, festivities include an air show and fireworks display. 1-800-858-1749;

First Tribal Council
July 31–Aug. 3 • Fort Atkinson and Omaha, Neb.
Highlights of the event include a re-enactment of the first meeting between expedition members and American Indians and the premiere of the second movement of a piano concerto by Philip Glass, featuring an American Indian flutist. (402) 471-3368;

Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) Experience: Remembering and Educating
Aug. 27–Sept. 26 • Various South Dakota locations
Guided tours will be offered to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota tribal nations and to Greenwood, where Lewis and Clark met the Yankton Sioux. (605) 773-3301; or

Circle of Cultures: Time of Renewal and Exchange
Oct. 22–31 • University of Mary, Bismarck, N.D.
Visitors to the Circle of Cultures will experience a high-tech computer-generated late 1700s village of the Mandan Indians and explore replicas of that tribe’s earth lodges. 1-800-767-3555;


Explore the Big Sky
June 1–July 4 • Fort Benton and Great Falls, Mont.
Learn about the Plains Indians by visiting a traditional village. Watch an opera about the Blackfeet Tribe’s Scarface. (406) 455-8451;

Destination: The Pacific
Nov. 11–15 • Various locations between Long Beach, Wash., and Cannon Beach, Ore.
Celebrating the explorers’ arrival at the Pacific, events will include ceremonies at Fort Clatsop National Memorial. (503) 861-4403;


Among the Niimiipuu (The Nez Perce)
June 14–17 • Lewiston and Lapwai, Idaho
This event, hosted by the Nez Perce tribe, celebrates the relationship forged between Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce people. (208) 843-2253, ext. 3511;

Clark on the Yellowstone
July 22–25 • Pompeys Pillar National Monument and Billings, Mont.
Activities include a National Day of Honor at the sandstone bluff where Clark inscribed his name in 1806. (406) 245-4111, ext. 101;

Reunion at the Home of Sakakawea
Aug. 17–20 • Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, New Town, N.D.
Re-enactments, dramatic presentations and a fur trade rendezvous are planned for this event. Activities will focus on Sakakawea, the expedition’s famous guide, as well as on the importance of the Missouri River. (701) 627-2870;

Confluence with Destiny: The Return of Lewis and Clark
Sept. 23–24 • Greater St. Louis
Groups from Missouri and Illinois will re-create the Sept. 23, 1806, triumphant return of the explorers to St. Louis after their arduous journey into the uncharted wilds of the West. The Gateway Arch will host the festivities, which will be a grand finale to two years of memorable celebrations that honor two of the greatest explorers who ever lived. 1-800-999-1803;

Liz Gauger is an assistant editor of Home and Away magazine.

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