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Entrance to all Gulf Islands National Seashore areas — including Fort Pickens — will be free on Monday, February 20 in celebration of the Presidents Day holiday.

National parks throughout the country annually waive entrance fees on Presidents Day. Officially known as Washington’s Birthday, the federal holiday is set aside to honor and reflect on the contributions of President George Washington, the first President of the United States. All areas of the national seashore will offer free entry, including the Fort Pickens Area, Opal Beach at the Santa Rosa Area, Okaloosa Area, Fort Barrancas Area, and Perdido Key Area.

Washington’s Birthday was originally established as federal holiday in 1879, and celebrated annually on February 22. In 1971, as part of an effort to make federal holidays more uniform, Congress moved the holiday to the third Monday in February. Since then, the holiday has taken on the name Presidents Day.

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