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Johnson’s Shut-Ins celebrate park’s 50th

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park will celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary on Saturday with a variety of free programs for all ages.

The celebration features activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and an 8 p.m. concert. It will take place rain or shine. The event is financed through the Parks and Soils sales tax.

Planned events include “critter” crafts, creek walks and old-fashioned Ozark crafts. A stream-bed demonstration will compare different types of stream beds and show how one type is more likely to become polluted. Participants are welcome to make popsicle-stick boats for a boat race. Other activities include fishing, games and a panning for gold demonstration.

The evening concludes with the “Jamming with Jamin, Water Wonderful World” concert with Jamin Bray. The music has a water theme to celebrate the connection between the park and water. The concert is sponsored by Shortleaf Interpretive Services and the Department of Natural Resources.

Park officials promise a surprise “Big Finish” in the amphitheater at the end of the evening.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is located on Route N in Middlebrook and offers camping, fishing, picnicking, swimming as well as hiking, equestrian and backpacking trails. The park includes two miles of river frontage and the shut-ins, which are areas where the Black River is confined in channels.

For more information about the park’s 50th anniversary celebration, call 753-546-2450.

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