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City of Wetumpka to celebrate New Year's with traditional asteroid fall

The City of Wetumpka will ring in the New Year Monday night with its traditional asteroid fall.
Festivities will begin at 9:30 p.m. at the old Elmore County Courthouse.

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Downtown Wetumpka was alive with blazing light, booming blasts and live music Saturday night as the city welcomed 2012 with its traditional New Year's Eve celebration.
As 11 p.m. approached, a flaming man-made "asteroid" began its descent to the square in front of the courthouse. The metal meteor is part of a miniature reenactment of the asteroid strike that created the Wetumpka impact crater 83 million years ago.
Gasps and shrieks greeted the fireworks that exploded when the glittering sphere hit ground zero.

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$20,000 awarded to crater project

This week, the Wetumpka Impact Crater Commission was awarded a grant it applied for earlier this year. Gov. Robert Bentley announced the $20,000 award to help study the potential economic impact of a much-discussed interpretive centre focusing on the only authenticated  impact crater in the eastern United States and one of just 200 such craters worldwide.
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Wetumpka Meteor Crater

 At the November,1997 meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society, we were treated to a lecture on the subject of the Wetumpka Meteor Crater, by Dr. David King Jr., of the Auburn University Department of Geology.   It was beyond a doubt, the best program of the year.
The following day, Saturday, November 8, was a bracing, sunny, late-fall day -- just perfect for exploring a meteor crater.

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The Alabama Tourism Department's ninth year of June Walking Tours kicks off this Saturday in more than two dozen locations across the state. Locally, Wetumpka and Prattville will host tours each Saturday in June and Tallassee will hold a single tour June 11.
Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce coordinates the local effort, with tours beginning and ending at the chamber office. Start time is 10 a.m. on June 4, 11, 18 and 25. There is no charge to participate and refreshments are provided by the chamber at the end of each excursion.

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The Wetumpka Crater Commission is one step closer to building an interpretive center.
This week, the Elmore County Commission contributed $5,000 dollars to help the group apply for a grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission.

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Two March events will offer the public a chance to learn more about the greatest natural disaster to ever hit Alabama.
The March 3 lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in the Wetumpka Civic Center and conducted by Dr. David T. King Jr., an Auburn University professor of geology. King's research confirmed what geologists suspected as early as 1891 -- the geologic anomalies around Wetumpka are the result of a meteor impact.
Tours on March 5 will be held hourly, beginning at 8:30 a.m., with van transportation provided. Par ti ci pants will meet at the Wetumpka Civic Center 15 minutes prior to their tour time. Each tour will be divided into two segments -- a lecture and information, followed by a van trip to various crater vantage points.

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Wetumpka's most prominent geographic feature, the 83 million-year-old impact crater that rings the city, attracted a class of geology students from the University of New Orleans Thursday.
Around 20 members of Dr. Mark A. Kulp's structural geology class boarded a bus in New Orleans around six Thursday morning to begin a field trip to Alabama.

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Funding sought for visitor centre at Alabama meteor crater

Officials are seeking money to build a visitor centre at the site of a crater created when a meteor hit central Alabama more than 80 million years ago.
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Crater commission seeks funding for visitor centre

With the right funding, Wetumpka's impact crater could become a state-wide tourism destination, according to a lawmaker who represents the area.
State Rep. Barry Mask, R-Wetumpka, has been working with the Centre for Government at Auburn Montgomery to develop a project management proposal for a science and learning centre for the five-mile-wide crater, which is considered to be one of the best preserved marine impact craters in the world. Their plans were presented to the Wetumpka City Council this week during a work session.

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