Photo special to the Times/Matt Bowers, National Speleological Society Chief of Natural Resources at Great Basin National Park, Ben Roberts (L), guides international cave artist Carolina Shrewsbury through the park’s Lehman Caves. Shrewsbury is working on the development of a new mural dedicated to the historical discovery of the cave.

Photo special to the Times/Matt Bowers, National Speleological Society
Chief of Natural Resources at Great Basin National Park, Ben Roberts (L), guides international cave artist Carolina Shrewsbury through the park’s Lehman Caves. Shrewsbury is working on the development of a new mural dedicated to the historical discovery of the cave.

This Saturday, the Ely Renaissance Society and the National Speleological Society are throwing a free party in Courthouse Park to dedicate Ely’s newest mural.

In 2014, members of the National Speleological Society approached Virginia Terry at the Ely Renaissance Society to discuss their goal of donating a mural dedicated to the historic discovery and exploration of Lehman Cave in Great Basin National Park. As one of the west’s most decorated caverns, Lehman Cave draws over 100,000 visitors to White Pine County every year.

After receiving a matching grant from the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership, the NSS was able to bring one of their cave explorers, Carolina Shrewsbury, from Tennessee to White Pine County to paint the original artwork. Following approval by the Ely City Council, Shrewsbury’s original painting then became the source art for the new 25-foot wide mural.

Photo special to the Times/Matt Bowers, National Speleological Society Virginia Terry (L), Director of the Ely Renaissance Society, reviews art designs with international cave artist Carolina Shrewsbury of the National Speleological Society. Shrewsbury is working on the development of a new mural dedicated to the historical discovery of the Lehman Caves at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

Photo special to the Times/Matt Bowers, National Speleological Society Virginia Terry (L), Director of the Ely Renaissance Society, reviews art designs with international cave artist Carolina Shrewsbury of the National Speleological Society. Shrewsbury is working on the development of a new mural dedicated to the historical discovery of the Lehman Caves at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

Located on the side of the Park Vue Motel, all of White Pine County is invited to join the dedication celebration this Saturday.

Starting at 10 a.m., several booths and interpretive exhibits will be in the park from land management agencies across the Great Basin. Two huge “virtual caves” will be set up for kids (of all ages) to practice their exploration skills in a simulated cave environment.

Live entertainment will feature Grammy Award-winners, The New Christy Minstrels, western artist Chris Bayer from Carson City and Ely’s very own Cheat Grass Brass Band.

About 3:30 p.m., Superintendent Steve Mietz from Great Basin National Park will join with the National Speleological Society to officially present the new mural to the Ely Renaissance Society.

Later that afternoon, a free gallery show of historical images from Lehman Cave will be on display at the Art Bank. The gallery show runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., members of the public are invited to watch the IMAX movie, “Journey Into Amazing Caves” at the Central Theater. This special event is hosted by the National Speleological Society and is a fund-raiser for White Pine High School’s drama club. Tickets are available at the theater. The featured stars from the movie will appear in person to answer audience questions following the screening.

To round out the day, Ely’s Outdoor Enthusiasts are hosting a “glow run” at 9 p.m. in Steptoe Park.

The event is sponsored in part by the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership, Nevada Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities and White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board.

Additional information is available online at http://www.speleofest.com/

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