Scenic USA

Lighthouses in the Holiday Spirit

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Mukilteo Lighthouse - Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, Mukilteo, Washington

Mukilteo Lighthouse Photo - Jim Stiles
Fond du lac and Montauk Point Lighthouses - Amanda Haddox
Cape Neddick Light - Brewster House Inn
Boca Grande Light by Ben Prepelka

Fond Du Lac Lighthouse at Christmas      Decorated and lit up for the holidays, lighthouses across America have become more than maritime beacons and historic attractions. Brightened for the yuletide season, lighthouse preservation groups now spent more time on year-end festivals and holiday lights. Becoming a popular tradition, a countdown to lights-on may draw in thousands of spectators. During an off-season for tourism, these annual events are a great way to generate more interest and support for historic lighthouses and their foundations.
     From Port Boca Grande, Florida, to the Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse in Maine, and Montauk Point, New York, to Avila Beach in California, lighthouses across the nation have been throwing a different switch that brightens light stations and lighthouse towers with a cheery display of holiday lights.
   Nearby the metro area of Seattle, the festive lighthouse at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park takes on a look of a holiday greeting card. A former Washington State Park, the property was turned over to the City in 2003. Both phases of a park improvement plan were completed and the lighthouse is available for touring and special events.
     Aglow with the holiday spirit, the 40 foot Fond du Lac Lighthouse tower at Lake Winnebago's Lakeside Park is up-lit with colored lights and topped off with a red-nosed Rudolph on the lantern room.
     Now an annual tradition, all are invited to join the countdown to the first lighting of winter season at the Cape Neddick Lighthouse. Scheduled for the first Saturday after Montauk Point Lighthouse at Christmas Thanksgiving, the lighthouse is adorned with lights, outlining the light station buildings and tower. Sitting atop a large rock island a few hundred feet from Maine's shoreline at Sohier Park, the Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse was one of the first lighthouses to dress up for the holiday. Also celebrating Christmas in July, summer residents and visitors have a chance to experience the lighthouse as it appears each year during the Yuletide season.
     Out on Long Island's Montauk Point, their annual holiday lighting event also draws in a huge crowd. One of the oldest lighthouses in America, the Montauk Point Light Station and tower are illuminated with 3000 energy saving LED lights. The Montauk Historical Society was serious when they accepted the unspoken challenge to become the most decorated lighthouse in America. Some believe the Cape Neddick Lighthouse in Maine had a lock on title of most decorated lighthouse for Port Boca Grande Lighthouse at Christmas the holidays. Now, New York State's first light-station at Montauk Point is a true contender.
     Celebrations at some of the light stations enjoy visits from Santa, with plenty of hot cider and snacks, while others keep its guests warm with hot chocolate and entertained with festive caroling. In Florida where hot chocolate isn't necessary and balmy temperatures do little to get residents in the holiday spirit, the holidays are still enjoyed in a just a little different party atmosphere. Guests from Boca Grande and Gasparilla Island are treated to a holiday celebration at the historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum. All these year-end festivals offer a fun-filled evening for the entire family.

American Lighthouses decked out
for the holidays and year-end festivals


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