Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Ceremony Photos

by Mike Unser on February 7, 2014 · 7 comments

Freezing temperatures, several inches of snow and school shutdowns dampened plans but didn’t stop the official launch of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park quarter in Gatlinburg, Tenn. on Jan. 29.

Pedro Ramos and David Croft, Great Smoky Mountains Quarter Unveiled

During the ceremony, David Croft of the U.S. Mint presents a special plague of quarters to Pedro Ramos, Acting Superintendent, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The quarters are from the first day of production – one from the Denver Mint and one from the Philadelphia Mint.

Inclement weather caused road closures in the most visited national park of America, canceling the U.S. Mint-hosted Coin Forum which is traditionally the prequel event to quarter ceremonies.

The ceremony escaped cancellation, held outside the national park at Gatlinburg Convention Center, though it was delayed for an hour and a half to give people more time to travel and attend. Despite the weather, several hundred people still made it to the ceremony, some from well across the country.

Attendees, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Ceremony

Some of the attendees of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Ceremony

Jay Adams, radio personality at Mix 105.5, served as master of ceremonies.

Jay Adams, Radio Personality at Mix 105.5

Jay Adams, Radio Personality at Mix 105.5

The Boogertown Gap spiced up the event with music.

Boogertown Gap

Boogertown Gap

Official hosting duties fell to David Croft, United States Mint Acting Associate Director for Manufacturing, and Pedro Ramos, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Acting Superintendent.

"We are honored that our park is being commemorated in such a special way by the United States Mint," Ramos said. "The collection of cabins protected within Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a resource worthy of national attention as is the legacy of the memories and feelings they evoke."

Short speeches were also offered by:

  • Harlow Sumerford, East Tennessee Field Director, Governor’s Office
  • Brad Free, Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Kent Cave, Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There were some grade schoolers and older kids from the local high school in attendance. Each received a free, shiny Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter after the ceremony.

David Croft, US Mint, handing out Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters

David Croft, US Mint, handing out Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters to the kids


Pedro Ramos, NPS, handing out Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters

Pedro Ramos, NPS, handing out Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters

Then, of course, there was the coin exchange hosted by Citizens National Bank. The venue let anyone exchange cash for $10 rolls of the new quarters. Just two days earlier, the U.S. Mint started selling bags and rolls of the coins.

Line for buying Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Sets

After the ceremony, attendees swapped cash for rolls of the new quarters. Also available were special two-coin sets of the uncirculated quarters.

 

Additional Ceremony Photos

Below are several more photos taken during the ceremony.

Speakers at Great Smoky Mountains Quarter Ceremony

Speakers at Great Smoky Mountains Quarter Ceremony. (From Left to Right) David Croft, Acting Associate Director of Manufacturing, United States Mint; Pedro Ramos, Acting Superintendent, Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Jay Adams, Radio Personality at Mix 105.5, Master of Ceremonies; Brad Free, Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Harlow Sumerford, East Tennessee Field Director, Governor’s Office; Kent Cave, Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Harlow Sumerford

Speaking at the podium is Harlow Sumerford, East Tennessee Field Director, Governor’s Office


Kent Cave, Park Ranger

Speaking at the podium is Kent Cave, Park Ranger


Brad Free, Park Ranger

Speaking at the podium is Brad Free, Park Ranger


Pedro Ramos and David Croft, symbolic melting of silver to create coinage

At the ceremony, Ramos and Croft perform a symbolic melting of silver to create coinage


Pedro Ramos and David Croft

A photo after Ramos presents Croft with a special pin from the National Park Service in recognition of his efforts to promote National Parks


Uncirculated Great Smoky Mountains National Park quarter

This photo shows a close-up of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Two-Coin Uncirculated Set


Set and Rolls of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter

Another close-up of the set, and quarter rolls from Citizens National Bank


Great Smoky Mountains National Park Set, Opened

A photo of an opened Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Two-Coin Uncirculated Set

 

America the Beautiful Quarters Series

The Great Smoky Mountains quarter is the first of five America the Beautiful Quarters for 2014 and the 21st since the series kicked off in 2010. When completed, a total of 56 national parks and other national sites will be commemorated at a rate of 5 per year with the final one honored in 2021.

Source of Photos

The photos are by Brian Davis. Brian lives in Bloomington, IL and owns a rental cabin (Bear’s Den) in Gatlinburg, TN. He’s a frequent visitor to the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg, TN area.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Al Smith February 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Take notice people: vainly politicians are featured in stories like this. Get a grip on reality; this is only another quarter among hundreds already in circulation. Who cares? What difference does it make in your lives? Get it?

John Riechers February 10, 2014 at 8:57 am

The two coin collections are availalbe at the gift shop at Great Smoky as well as at http://www.coinsofamerica.com. They are 100% made in the USA at MPI Coin Inc located in Grafton WI. Our employees are proud to see them pictured at the release ceremony!

Ed Miller February 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Why was there NO mention whatsoever of the 3rd mint quarter, “S”. San Francisco? Does the GSMNP sell any ‘3-coin’ sets? eBay does!

RonnieBGood February 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

Looks like a great effort from the Staff of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to introduce this coin. I remember this well designed scene from our visits.

Thank you to all involved with the design and release of this America the Beautiful coin!

RonnieBGood February 12, 2014 at 9:52 am
Tim February 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm

More acres of this Park in NC. Should be NC’s quarter. Tn and some NC politicians (fixed) everything to do with this Park, for Tn’s benefit. It is not right, just like how the Park was formed………..Bad deal!

Ed Miller February 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Thanks ‘BGood’, but finding the ‘S’ (now) is a piece of cake; everybody involved in coin sales has examples for sale! Let me rephrase the question: WHY WASN’T THE “S” MINT-TYPE (1) MENTIONED OR EVEN (2) AVAILABLE IN A 3-COIN PRESENTATION FOLDER AT THIS PRESTIGIOUS EVENT?

Thanks, Ed

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