The Choptank River Lighthouse, on the waterfront in Cambridge, will celebrate its fifth birthday in style this year during an upcoming season that will see the opening of a new special exhibit, the development of plans for dramatic new exterior lighting, the raffling of a private party during the city’s 4th of July fireworks and much more.
Located at Long Wharf Park on the Choptank River, the Lighthouse has welcomed more than 20,000 visitors to Cambridge since opening its doors in 2012. The replica beacon will be open to the public daily for self-guided tours between May 1 and October 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“This is going to be our biggest and best season yet,” promises Cassie Burton, the president of the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit that works to promote the Lighthouse and enhance the experiences it offers to visitors. “We are very excited to be opening things up again and getting back to welcoming visitors into our community in first-rate fashion.”
On Friday afternoons starting at 1 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays starting at 9:30 a.m., volunteer lighthouse “keepers” will be on hand to greet visitors and tell stories about the lighthouse and its connections to the rich maritime history of Dorchester County. These keepers also help connect visitors with the other attractions in the area and guide them to shops and restaurants.
In addition to the regular “keeper” hours, the Foundation and its volunteers manage special tours of the lighthouse for cruise ship visitors, local and regional civic groups, Hyatt Regency meetings and conferences and other affairs.
The Foundation has several special initiatives in the works to mark the fifth anniversary of the lighthouse.
- A special temporary exhibit, “The View from the Lighthouse: The Underground Railroad,” is slated to open in June.
- Raffle tickets for a private party inside the Lighthouse during the community’s Fourth of July festivities will be available starting in May. The Lighthouse offers a spectacular view of the fireworks show.
- The Lighthouse Foundation is working with experts at Bruce Dunlop Lighting Design to develop plans for architectural style lighting that will illuminate the Lighthouse in dramatic fashion during night time hours. Details will be announced later in the year.
- A special “Light Night” celebration will be held on Saturday, October 14 at the Cambridge Yacht Club to mark the beacon’s fifth birthday.
For information about these initiatives and other questions about the Lighthouse, contact Jim Duffy, the Foundation’s part-time executive director, at 410-463-2635 or ChoptankLighthouse@gmail.com. The foundation always welcomes inquiries from potential volunteers as well.
The Choptank River Lighthouse on the waterfront in Cambridge opens for tours on May 1. Photograph courtesy of Jill Jasuta.