Festival celebrates 150th year of Cape Canaveral Lighthouse


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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse stands out on a bright sunny morning before the arrival of visitors. Visitors have access to the lighthouse, which is at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, through guided bus tours. Inset: The old brick lighthouse tower, left, and the newer, right, iron lighthouse tower of Cape Canaveral stood together before the latter was moved 1.5 miles inland in 1893.

SENIOR LIFE R. Norman Moody /Inset: Courtesy of State of Florida

 

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is celebrating its 150th anniversary and is well on its way to rebuilding one of the keeper’s cottages that once stood next to the lighthouse. It is part of the work of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, established in 2002.

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 to help raise some of the funds for rebuilding the cottage. The festival will be on the grounds of the lighthouse, according to James Underwood, a retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral, who is vice president of the lighthouse foundation and chairman of the festival committee.

“Those attending will have an opportunity to tour the lighthouse, a 29-foot fast response vessel from the Coast Guard, and view para-rescue jumpers’ equipment and talk to the guys,” Underwood said. “We will have groups from a symphony orchestra providing music at various locations.”

Right on the ocean, several kinds of local seafood will be served. A silent auction of decorated filled baskets will be offered. There will be a raffle and attendees can visit the gift shop. A full tour of the lighthouse is planned.

The foundation’s mission is to promote access to the lighthouse and to provide the public with the knowledge and history of one of the unique lighthouses in the United States.

Restoring the keeper’s cottages has been a goal of the foundation since its inception.

The first of the planned keeper’s cottages will be used as a museum, gift shop, classroom and restroom.

On Oct. 10, 2017, the Brevard County Commissioners approved the Tourism Development Council recommendation to fund $500,000 for construction of the first keeper’s cottage for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.

Proceeds from the Lighthouse Festival also will help fund the building of the cottage.

Festival attendees will park in the cove at Port Canaveral, board buses for the ride and pass through Air Force Security to the lighthouse.

Tickets will be $75 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. A children’s menu will be available.

Sponsorships still are available online at CanaveralLight.org, according to Underwood.

“Our mission (for the lighthouse foundation) is to support the 45th Space Wing to promote and keep the lighthouse grounds looking good, facilitate tours with docents and have something out there that’s meaningful,” Underwood said.