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Nov 3, 2017 4:53 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Holiday Light Display To Return To Montauk Lighthouse This Season

Nov 6, 2017 10:04 AM

After a dim winter holiday season last year, the Montauk Point Lighthouse will be bright with lights once again beginning later this month.

With an accompanying ceremony from 4:30 to 7 p.m., the lighthouse will be decked out in glowing holiday lights starting on Saturday, November 25 for the lighting of the lighthouse—resuming an annual tradition, started in 2008, that had to be canceled last year due to a lack of funding.

Joe Gaviola of the Montauk Point Lighthouse Committee sounded jovial over the phone on Friday when he said, “We’re back!” after a year of fundraising and completing renovations to the over 200-year-old beacon itself.

“We had a construction project that we were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on,” Mr. Gaviola explained. “We needed to take a break and recharge our funding.”

Mr. Gaviola said the committee spent more than $300,000 in repairs to the lighthouse and museum, as well as adding an elevator to the lighthouse gift shop and a heating and air-conditioning system in the lighthouse museum. The cost of installing and maintaining the holiday lights from Thanksgiving through Christmas is around $50,000, a financial weight that the committee typically meets through donations from fans and admission fees to the lighthouse. The committee is still in the process of fundraising for future construction and upkeep at the lighthouse, Mr. Gaviola said.

“A lot of people think that the state or the town or the county funds us, but we have no federal funding,” he said. “We would love for the community to help us pay for this. We’re just honored to get to the break-even point. We have to do this thing correctly and maintain the integrity of the property.”

The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York and the fourth oldest lighthouse in the United States. It was officially recognized as a national historic landmark on March 5, 2012.

Mr. Gaviola said that the lighting ceremony pay tribute to the late Betsy White, a Montauk resident who was a former treasurer for the committee and former president of the Montauk Historical Society.

“This one’s for Betsy,” he said, noting that Ms. White’s family will be the honored guests who flick the light switch on November 25.

Sarah Conway and the Playful Souls will return to the lighthouse to perform.

There was “concern and disappointment” when it was announced last year that the holiday lighting wouldn’t go on, Mr. Gaviola said. Now he sees people—locals and visitors alike—who are delighted to discover that “Long Island’s Christmas Ornament” will return this year.

“People are really, really proud of the lighthouse—and are very thrilled with this,” he said.

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I was hoping PW Herman, that this was sarcasm. June Bug hit the nail on the head, Jesus was an includer, not excluder.
By Infoseeker (279), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 17 7:51 AM
Those aren’t holiday lights and it isn’t a holiday season. It’s Christmas. It’s the Christian holiday which celebrates the birth of Christ. If that offends you, start with Kwanzaa, Boxing Day and St. Patrick’s Day and we’ll talk
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 5, 17 8:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
It might shock you to learn that a number of the world's religions celebrate major holy days during the period from late Novermber to early January. Hence, the "holy day season."
Nov 6, 17 10:28 AM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
Also, are you still insisting that the NRA didn't give Trump's campaign money?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8048), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 5, 17 10:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
That doesn’t shock me at all. I’m aware. Of those, the only one that uses Christmas lights and Christmas trees is Christmas. That would be the Christian holiday of Christ’s Birthday. If that offends you, I’m not sorry because that would mean you’re an anti-Christian bigot.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 6, 17 5:28 AM
Are you sure lights haven't been co-opted by the holiday industry to be inclusive of other holy days to maximize their profit?

You've never seen a star of david made from lights in someone's window?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8048), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 6, 17 6:13 AM
Actually, the season was created to compete with the scheduling of the Roman Saturnalia. Rome had it's demigods, and Christianity got one too.

Crying shame about Apollonius of Tyana. He just didn't gather the following of Yeshua ben Josef.
Nov 6, 17 7:05 AM appended by Mr. Z
BTW, most of the Christian "traditions" are pagan in origin. Thanks for playing.
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Nov 6, 17 7:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
If the star formations described in the bible are accurate, Jesus was actually born in June.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8048), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 6, 17 7:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 7, 17 5:52 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island