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It’s gonna be lit! Time to share the magic of the season at the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse

December 2, 2022
By Guest Columnist

The Barrier Island Parks Society (BIPS) is delighted to extend an invitation to friends and families to share the magic of the season at the annual Lighting of the Lighthouse! Please join us at Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum between 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Gates to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum will open at 5:30 p.m., and the famous annual countdown to the lighting of the holiday lights will take place between 5:45 and 6 p.m. 

The “Great Lady” will be adorned with thousands of holiday lights, the beacon will shine into the night sky, and we will celebrate outdoors with a festive evening of live music, fellowship, holiday shopping and unique silent auction. 

Wine will be served for a small donation. 

Our community has celebrated the Lighting of the Lighthouse each year since 1990 in the thankful spirit also shared by the former Lighthouse Keeper’s daughter, Dian McKeithan Miller, who eloquently spoke at the Lightings of the past.

Dian was the daughter of Principal Light Keeper Cody McKeithan, and she lived in the Lighthouse for 10 years as a young girl. Cody served Port Boca Grande and Gasparilla Island Lighthouses from 1941 to 1951. One year, Dian spoke to the crowd gathered at the Lighting of the Lighthouse and thanked the community for their efforts in the 1980s to save the “Great Lady” from the sea. She also thanked the Barrier Island Parks Society for the loving care bestowed upon her childhood home, now a national monument. Then the lights were enkindled, and a collective gasp murmured on the night wind while the clear and starry night began to carry uplifted voices joined in Silent Night.

Please join BIPS for this historically magical evening and make the Lighting of the Lighthouse a wonderful addition to your holiday tradition.

BIPS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is To Inspire the exploration and preservation of our natural and historic treasures. BIPS manages and preserves three local historic sites: Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, Amory Memorial Chapel and Gasparilla Island Lighthouse. Friends of Cayo Costa and Friends of Stump Pass are steering committees of BIPS, which is the official CSO for four barrier island Florida State Parks – Cayo Costa, Don Pedro, Gasparilla and Stump Pass. 

The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum is located at 880 Belcher Road.