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Celebrate Octave Chanute at National Park’s Aviation Day

Celebrate National Aviation Day and learn about Octave Chanute’s pioneering glider flights in the Indiana Dunes. See the premiere of the new Paul Nelson film to learn how Chanute helped the Wright Brothers achieve powered flight in 1903. Join in the fun on Sunday, August 18, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.

During the Aviation Day event, a modern glider will be displayed outside the visitor center while a full-sized replica of the Chanute glider can be seen inside. At 1:00 pm, Chanute biographer, Simine Short, will give a brief talk and introduce filmmaker Paul Nelson for the premiere of his Octave Chanute film. This 20-minute video tells the story of the aviation pioneer’s effort to achieve human flight from dunes along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. “These sites right on the lake in Northwest Indiana should be revered in the same way that Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is for flight enthusiasts,” said Paul Nelson, the film’s director. “It’s just another aspect that makes the Indiana Dunes so special.”

Funding for the Chanute video was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program. Additional support provided by the Indiana Arts Commission, South Shore Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is located at 1215 North State Road 49, about one mile north of Interstate 94. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Park, call 219-395-1882 or visit our website at and our Facebook page at

Indiana Dunes National Park is one of 419 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 3 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year.

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