Light Night event set Oct. 15 in Cam­bridge

Dorchester Star - - What’s Up -

CAM­BRIDGE — More than a decade has passed since the na­tion­ally known painter Ge­orge Wright ini­tially floated the idea of build­ing a light­house on the wa­ter­front in his home­town of Cam­bridge as a way to draw in new vis­i­tors and cel­e­brate the town’s rich mar­itime her­itage.

Thanks to the local donors who lined one af­ter an­other be­hind Wright and his idea, the Chop­tank River Light­house opened its doors four years ago, in Septem­ber of 2012.

Nearly 20,000 peo­ple have vis­ited the light­house since then. The guest book near the front door is dot­ted with the names of far-off states in this coun­try and other na­tions around the world. The light­house has quickly be­come a sym­bol for the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of Cam­bridge as well, with photos and paint­ings of it fea­tured in count­less pub­li­ca­tions, web­sites, and gal­leries.

That is the suc­cess story that will be cel­e­brated at the inau­gu­ral “Light Night” event on Satur­day, Oct. 15, at the Cam­bridge Yacht Club. The event will fea­ture danc­ing, auctions, heavy hors d’oeu­vres, and much more, all within sight of the Light­house on the banks of the Chop­tank River.

“Our com­mu­nity has so much to cel­e­brate with this Light­house reach­ing its fourth birth­day,” said Cassie Bur­ton, pres­i­dent of the non­profit Cam­bridge Light­house Foun­da­tion. “From day one this has been a gen­uine grass­roots un­der­tak­ing, and it’s great to see some­thing bub­ble up like that out of the local com­mu­nity and be­come not just a des­ti­na­tion for vis­i­tors, but also a real source of pride for our local res­i­dents.”

The foun­da­tion’s mis­sion is to help Cam­bridge make the most of this new as­set. It mar­kets and pro­motes the Light­house as an at­trac­tion, and it puts on var­i­ous events, ac­tiv­i­ties, and tours. It also or­ga­nizes a small army of vol­un­teer “keep­ers” who greet vis­i­tors to the Light­house ev­ery Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day. A part of the role of keep­ers is to pro­mote eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by help­ing to con­nect vis­i­tors with other shops, restau­rants, and at­trac­tions in Dorch­ester County.

Vol­un­teers also are at the heart of the Light Night event.

“The peo­ple who have stepped up so gen­er­ously to put this cel­e­bra­tion to­gether are really a first-rate team,” said Jim Duffy, who was re­cently hired to be the part­time direc­tor of the Foun­da­tion. “It’s go­ing to be a really fun night—one that’s wor­thy of this Light­house and all the sto­ries it has to tell.”

Pro­ceeds from the event will sup­port the Foun­da­tion and help it to grow its cur­rent ini­tia­tives and take on new ones.

A num­ber of local busi­nesses and com­mu­nity lead­ers have stepped up to sup­port Light Night Cam­bridge with gen­er­ous auc­tion items, in­clud­ing a spe­cial evening of fine wine and small plate pair­ings, to be held ei­ther at the Light­house or the win­ning bid­der’s home, and a half-day duck-hunt­ing ex­cur­sion with Tommy Pow­ley, the pres­i­dent of GKD-USA.

Other items in­clude a tapas din­ner for six at Bistro Poplar, fol­lowed by a scenic night­cap at the Light­house; an oys­ter roast; and a wine-and-cheese ex­cur­sion aboard a lux­ury sail­boat. Several other items are in the works as well, though they have not yet been fi­nal­ized.

A num­ber of local restau­rants and shops are con­tribut­ing items to the auctions. Local artists are do­nat­ing as well — there will be pho­to­graphs, paint­ings, em­broi­dery, and more, in­clud­ing a stun­ning stained-glass ren­di­tion of the Light­house crafted by for­mer fuel com­pany ex­ec­u­tive Bill Wise.

A “Wine Tree” will also be part of the events, with pa­trons blindly buy­ing a bot­tle or ei­ther red or white wine that in some cases will turn out to be worth well more than the $20 it costs to play.

Fes­tiv­i­ties run from 6 to 10pm on Satur­day, Oct. 15. Tick­ets cost $50 apiece. They are avail­able on­line at LightNightCam­bridge.com and in per­son with cash or by check at four down­town Cam­bridge lo­ca­tions — the Dorch­ester Cham­ber of Com­merce, 528 Poplar Street; Down­town Frame of Mine, 319 High Street; The Wine Bar, 414 Race Street; and Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket, 600 Race Street.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion, email Chop­tankLight­house@gmail.com or call 410.463.2635.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO BY JILL JA­SUTA

The inau­gu­ral “Light Night” event on Satur­day, Oct. 15, at the Cam­bridge Yacht Club Chop­tank River Light­house. will cel­e­brate

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