October 5, 2018

Grand Reopening of the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center

On Saturday, October 20, Wright Brothers National Memorial will hold a grand reopening ceremony for its National Historic Landmark visitor center. The park will be open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Entrance fees will be waived on this very special day.

Starting at 9:30 am, the grand reopening ceremony will feature speeches by National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Robert Vogel and National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. After the ribbon cutting, Dare County 4th graders and their families are invited to be the first to experience the visitor center’s brand-new, interactive exhibits. The National Park Service is honoring 4th graders as the distinguished guests as part of the national Every Kid in a Park program and to promote their study of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s achievements as part of their 4th grade curriculum. 

Throughout the day, visitors are invited to explore the visitor center and to enjoy the interactive activities and exhibits on aviation, historic preservation, and STEAM-based activities (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) provided by local and regional partners.

Sneak Peek at the New Exhibits

Once inside the newly renovated visitor center, visitors will embark on a journey through the lives of Orville and Wilbur Wright, exploring their characters, diving into problems they solved and the methods they used that ultimately led to their first flight on December 17, 1903. Along the journey, visitors will also encounter people who helped and interacted with the Wrights including Katharine Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Charles Taylor, to name a few.

Inside the Flight Room, visitors will once again be able to view the reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer - the flyer that made history during the first flight - along with a brand new 16-screen video wall!

After experiencing the visitor center, join National Park Service staff, and our wonderful partners for educational programs, interactive activities, and aircraft displays on the First Flight Airstrip tarmac.  

Schedule of Events


Programs and Activities



9:30 am to 10:00 am

Grand Reopening Speeches and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

NPS Southeast Regional Director Robert Vogel and National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac will speak, followed by a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

Entrance to the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center

10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm

Wind and Sand (interpretive program)

Step back in history during this short walk to the actual site of the Wright brothers’ first powered flights.

Meet on the back patio of the visitor center and end at the First Flight Marker 1

10:00 am to 5:00 pm

(drop by anytime)

Camp Building and Hangar Open House (interpretive program)

Learn how Wilbur and Orville Wright lived on the Outer Banks with a visit to the reconstructed buildings that help us understand how they worked, ate, and entertained themselves while learning how to fly.

Camp buildings (southwest of visitor center)

10:00 am to 5 pm

(drop by anytime)

Interactive and educational exhibits focused on aviation, historic preservation and STEAM-based activities (science, technology, engineering, arts and math)

Activities and exhibits provided by:

  • Berlin Airlift Foundation
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Dare County Radio Control Flyers
  • Elizabeth City State University’s Mobile STEM Lab Initiative*
  • First Flight Society
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park
  • Kitty Hawk Kites
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation - Aviation Division
  • Outer Banks History Center
  • Outer Banks Lighthouse Society
  • Outer Banks Repeater Association
  • Additional partners and exhibitors will be listed on the park’s Facebook page

Exhibit tent across the parking lot from the visitor center.


*The  Elizabeth City State University Mobile STEM Lab Initiative will be parked at the base of Big Kill Devil Hill near First Flight Airstrip.

10:00 am - mid-afternoon

(drop by anytime)

Aircraft on Display

Talk to pilots and learn about modern aircraft.  Aircraft provided by:

  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Elizabeth City State University

First Flight Airstrip tarmac

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