Voyageurs Quarter Launch Ceremony Highlights

Last week on Thursday, June 14, quarters honoring Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota were formerly introduced to the public.

DeGross and Ryder

United States Mint Director, David J. Ryder and Voyageurs National Park Superintendent, Bob DeGross, participate in the ceremonial coin pour during the launch of the Voyageurs National Park quarter in International Falls, Minn., June 14, 2018. The coin is the 43rd release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. U.S. Mint photo by Jill Westeyn.

More than 600 people attended the launch ceremony hosted by officials from the United States Mint and National Park Service. Around 100 children received a free Voyageurs quarter to commemorate the event.

Voyageurs Quarter Ceremony Crowd

A crowd of 600 people witness the ceremonial launch of the Voyageurs quarter. U.S. Mint photo by Jill Westeyn.

Children Receive Voyageurs quarter

Voyageurs National Park Superintendent Bob DeGross hands out new quarters to children attending the launch of the Voyageurs National Park quarter. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

coin pile still

Voyageurs National Park quarters

As seen in the above photo, the coin’s reverse (tails side) depicts a common loon with a rock cliff in the background.

“Just as the loon’s yodels and wails are a distinctive and timeless sound of Northern Minnesota’s wilderness and waterways, the Voyageurs quarter will echo the histories and cultures of the people who have been connected here through trade, industry, and recreation,” U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder said.

Mr. Ryder, the new Mint Director, was welcomed by the community and many regular coin enthusiasts young and old. After the ceremony he was greeted by many fans that wanted to meet him and get his autograph.

David J. Ryder

David J. Ryder, Director, United States Mint, addresses the crowd gathered at the Voyageurs quarter launch ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Retired ornithology professor Leland Grim led a festive ceremony that featured musical performances by International Falls natives Gavia Yount and Darcy Sullivan.

Leland Grim

Leland Grim, Retired Professor of Ornithology, serves as Master of Ceremonies during the launch ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Jill Westeyn.

Local student Gavia Yount

Local student Gavia Yount sings the National Anthem during the ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Folk musician Darcy Sullivan

Folk musician Darcy Sullivan entertains the audience before the ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 150; Cub Scout Troop 145; Girl Scouts of America Troops 1150, 1151, 1153, and 1156; and Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard 2948 also participated in the ceremony.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard 2948

VFW Color Guard #2948, International Falls, Minn., prepare to present the colors during the Voyageurs quarter launch ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Guest speakers included Ida Rukavina, Regional Outreach Director for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar; Peter Makowski, Regional Outreach Director for U.S. Senator Tina Smith; Tom Whiteside, who represented U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan; and Park Superintendent Bob DeGross.

Bob DeGross and kids

Superintendent Bob DeGross poses with children attending Voyageurs quarter launch ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Jill Westeyn.

In addition, many attendees took part in the traditional coin exchange with quarters provided by TruStar Federal Credit Union. About $17,000 in P-mint mark quarters were swapped for cash.

Line of people waits to exchange cash for quarter rolls

A long line of people waits to exchange cash for rolls of brand new Voyageurs National Park quarters. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Rolls of Voyageurs quarters are exchanged

Rolls of Voyageurs quarters are exchanged following the launch ceremony. U.S. Mint photo by Sharon McPike.

Another highlight for 44 collectors and local enthusiasts was a coin forum held on the evening before the launch ceremony where attendees listened to and asked questions of U.S. Mint officials.

Voyageurs National Park quarters started entering circulation on Monday, June 11. On the same day, the U.S. Mint released them in rolls and bags. Available products include quarters struck at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95.

The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program debuted in 2010 and will honor 56 national parks and other sites through 2021. The Voyageurs quarter is the 43rd released since 2010 and the third of the five unique 25-cent designs for 2018.

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