The United States Mint has announced the launch ceremony dates for the fourth and fifth 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters®. The US Mint has also indicated that it will host coin forums during the evenings prior to each of the ceremonies.
The Mint will conduct the 2011 Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter ceremony on Tuesday, August 30 and the 2011 Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter ceremony on Wednesday, November 16. The coins are the ninth and tenth issues in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a series that honors national parks and other sites throughout the U.S. and territories.
Launch ceremonies not only celebrate the release of the new quarter-dollar designs but also include local entertainment, historical commentary and a coin exchange. Normally one or more nearby schools will bring several classes of children to each ceremony.
The US Mint describes the affairs by stating, "Both events include a coin exchange after the ceremony where participants can exchange their cash for rolls containing the honored site’s new quarter. Children 18 years old and younger will receive a free quarter to commemorate the event.
Additionally, the United States Mint will hold a coin forum the evening before each quarter launch ceremony where the public can discuss future U.S. coinage and learn about United States Mint initiatives and coin programs. Information about the coin forums will be available in the coming weeks."
The US Mint released the following details for the two coins honoring the national parks in Mississippi and Oklahoma:
Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter Ceremony Details
Date: August 30
Time: 9:30 a.m. CT
Location: USS Cairo Museum located on the grounds of the park in Vicksburg, Mississippi
The Vicksburg quarter of Mississippi depicts the USS Cairo on the Yazoo River as it would have been seen when it served the Union during the Civil War. It was designed by Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter Ceremony Details
Date: November 16
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Location: Vendome Well (on Broadway across from City Hall)
[Editor’s update: The location for the Chickasaw Quarter Launch event was changed from the Point at the Lake of the Arbuckles boat launch parking lot in Sulphur, Oklahoma, to the Vendome Well (on Broadway across from City Hall) in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Additionally, the United States Mint provided the location and time for the coin form, which is shown below.]
The ceremony in Oklahoma will celebrate more than just the new quarter. November 16 marks the 104th anniversary of Oklahoma’s statehood.
The Chickasaw quarter of Oklahoma features the "Lincoln Bridge" that crosses the Travertine Creek inside the park. It was built of limestone blocks and dedicated in 1909 to celebrate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The image was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.
Both quarters will enter circulation via Federal Reserve Banks earlier than their respective launch ceremony. The Vicksburg quarter starts on August 29 and the Chickasaw quarter on November 14. The US Mint will make bags and rolls of them available for purchase on those same days.
Coin Forum Prior to Chickasaw Launch
Date: November 15
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Travertine Nature Center Auditorium, Chickasaw National Recreation Area
The United States Mint released the first 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter in a ceremony on January 25, 2011 and made them available for purchase in bags and rolls two days later. Ceremony dates for the second 2011 Glacier National Park Quarter and the third 2011 Olympic National Park Quarter were April 13 and June 14, respectively.
For a design overview and brief details for each of the coins, see the 2011 quarter images.