YOSEMITE FIREFALL

The Yosemite Firefall was a summer time ritual that lasted from 1872 until 1968 in which burning hot embers were dropped a height of about 3000 feet from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park down to the valley below, and from a distance looked similar to a glowing water fall because the people who dumped the embers made sure to do so in a uniform fashion. The ritual was performed by several generations of the owners of the Glacier Point Hotel. The ritual ended when the hotel burned down in 1969. The hotel was never rebuilt, and park rangers decided to disallow continuing the ritual due to the overwhelming number of visitors it attracted, and the fact that it was not a natural event. The ritual was performed at 9 PM every night, to coincide with the end of a performance at Camp Curry.

In January 1968, George Hertzog, Director of the National Park Service, ordered that the Firefall be discontinued. He stated his reasons: the Firefall was a man-made event, which detracted from National Park Service policy to encourage appreciation of natural wonders. He said that, if people want to see something like that, they could go to Disneyland.

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