A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

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Bright Lights

Posted by: Rick Cain in From the Lens Room

Once again in recovery mode after our big holiday event called Luminary Night. If you have never seen it, we put about 2000 luminaries (you know, those little paper bags with sand and a candle in the bottom) around the streets below the lighthouse. Santa comes and we open the tower for free to all our guests. We serve hot cider and cookies, have the local high school kids come and perform Christmas music on the lawn. We also have a string quartet playing music in the base of the tower. They sit around a Christmas tree that sits in the weight well and the music drifts up the tower as people climb. Once at the top you look down on all of these lights spread out below the one big light above your head. Combine that with all of the lights that you can see downtown, and the lights on the shrimp boats fishing offshore, it is a pretty special time.

The story here though is not the event itself but all of the volunteers here who make it happen. Monday night we had the “bag party” and enough volunteers showed up that it took only 40 minutes to make 2000 luminaries. Everyone usually stays after for snacks and drinks. Then, on the night of the event, the volunteers set them all out, light them, and pick them all back up. It is back breaking work! And they do it all to help out the lighthouse (our staff works hard at this too). The St. Augustine Classical Guitar Ensemble plays in the visitor’s center as well. But the real story of sacrifice is from the string quartet that plays in the tower. You see, while they are playing, people are climbing above their heads. Now we have a lot of sand on our trails here on the island, so that means that while they are playing, sand is dropping on their heads from above while they play… and they never miss a beat!… for three hours… and they don’t complain! We probably had 2500 people here that night. That is a lot of sand!

Our volunteers RULE!

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