This past May, the nonprofit Friends of Flying Santa afforded some happy lighthouse buffs the chance to view some of Maine's most famous and beautiful lighthouses on a three-day luxury motor coach tour. They even had the opportunity to tour the interiors of six of the lights, including some that are rarely opened to the public.
The group visited and toured Portsmouth Harbor Light (New Hampshire), Fort Point Light, Owls Head Light, Rockland Breakwater Light, Bass Harbor Head Light and Pemaquid Point Light. A couple of hours were spent shopping in Bar Harbor and the bus climbed to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, the highest summit on the eastern seaboard. There was also a great cruise past the lighthouses of the Kennebec River, thanks to Long Reach Cruises; a stop at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath; and visits to Lighthouse Depot in Wells plus the Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse in York on the way back to Massachusetts.
More trips are planned this year to benefit the Flying Santa program. Brian Tague, president of the Friends of Flying Santa, emphasizes, “All proceeds from the Friends of Flying Santa fundraising tours go to support the flights, Coast Guard scholarships and other expenses incurred in the continuation of this 75-year-old tradition. The public's support of our future tours would be greatly appreciated.”
Friends of Flying Santa Inc. was formed in 1997 to ensure the future of the annual Christmas Flights to New England lighthouses, a New England tradition since 1929. The Friends work to carry on this gesture of gratitude to the men, women and families of the U.S. Coast Guard who keep watch over our coastal waters. To learn more about the fascinating history of this tradition and how you can help keep it alive, visit the organization's web site at www.flyingsanta.org.
This story appeared in the
Aug/Sep 2004 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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