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