Digest>Archives> November 1998

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival Draws Thousands


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The Keeper's Dinner drew nearly 200 people for a ...

The Third Annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival this past Columbus Day weekend was deemed a gigantic success, bringing thousands of people to the northern Michigan town of Alpena.

"Fantastic-no other word for it," said festival director, Marv Theut. He went on to say that attendance was 30% higher than last year with many area hotels sold out weeks in advance. The events for the Middle Island Lighthouse boat tours were booked solid for all three days and the helicopter could be heard taking off and landing almost constantly on its tours.

Although the tours were popular, it was the exhibits and booths that people flocked to, with thousands of lighthouse related products being sold. Probably the most active booth was the Lighthouse Depot booth which sold out of many of its book titles by early Saturday afternoon. One of its most popular items was the Santa Lighthouse Keeper, which is featured in its new holiday catalog, as well as its new Christmas Lighthouse Afghan.

Also popular were the many lighthouse artists such as Donna Elias, and Gary Odmark who were selling their many lighthouse paintings and prints; and photographers John Wagner who was selling autographed copies of his book and Lynn Marvin with his beautiful selection of framed and matted aerial lighthouse photographs.

Noted sculpturor Cheryl Spencer Collin was on hand to autograph her Spencer Collin Lighthouse collection as well as Bill Younger of Harbour Lights who gave a lecture on Saturday and autographed Harbour Lights on Sunday. Don Hermanson was there promoting his wide selection of Michigan lighthouse videos, which are all available from Lighthouse Depot.

The Saturday evening banquet was highlighted by a slide presentation by Tim Harrison of Lighthouse Digest titled, Lighthouses of Yesteryear.

The festival netted over $12,000 from its Sunday live auction and more from the sale of raffle tickets to be used for lighthouse restoration.

The raffle tickets indicated that people came from as far away as Alaska, Nebraska, Maine, and Arkansas with many from other Great Lakes states like Ohio, New York, Minnesota and Indiana.

Next year's Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival will be held on October 8-11, 1999. For more information you can write to them at GLLF, 70447 Fisher Road, Romeo, MI 48065.

This story appeared in the November 1998 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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