Hunting Island Lighthouse 150th Anniversary

150 anniversary lighthouse

Hunting Island Lighthouse 150th Anniversary Celebration Schedule of Events

Friday, October 16, 2009 Events

Friday evening:
Thank You to the Beaufort Art Association for helping us kick-off the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Hunting Island Lighthouse.

Saturday, October 17, 2009 Events

Saturday at the Park:
Great participation by Higher Ground and their Paddlefest at the 150th celebration in the Hunting Island Lagoon.
It was a wonderful Sand Sculpting Contest on Lighthouse Beach. See below for more details.
And we enjoyed the three piece Heritage Steel Band! (Especially the dancing Web Witch!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009 Events

Saturday in Beaufort:
Wow! The budding artists of the Lowcountry, inspired by our Lighthouse and Park filled the USCB Performing Arts Center display rooms. See below for more details of the Student Art Show.
Watch for more performances of the Three-Act Play "People of the Light" by Suzanne Larson. This event was funded in part by The Humanities CouncilSC. See below for a review.
Everyone learned something new from the Lighthouse History Q&A with Dr. Larry Rowland following the play at the USCB Performing Arts Center.

Sunday, October 18, 2009 Events

Sunday at the Park:
108 people participated in the 5-K Run/Walk race and expedition through the new Park trails. See more below.
Another thank you to Higher Ground for the Kayak demonstration at our inland island lagoon.
The Hunting Island Lighthouse Stamp is an on-going project of the U.S. Lighthouse Society "Passport"; available at the lighthouse.
Thank you to all the Non-Profit Organizations who displayed their information at booths on Sunday. Also kudos to Yostie, the Clown, and the facepainters!
The U.S. Postal Service "special cancellation" envelope - Hunting Island Lighthouse Cachet is still on sale. See below.
The Rotary Club of the Lowcountry did it again feeding us all the oysters and fixings (as well as seafood baskets, hot dogs, and chili!) we could eat.
U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Flyover & Rescue Demonstration (thanks Fripp Island Sea Rescue).
The Grand Ceremony in Celebration of the Hunting Island Lighthouse Anniversary—150 years: thanks to our Park staff, SCPRT, the U.S. Coast Guard, all the local elected officials, the Lowcountry Chorale, Ben McAuley (bagpipes), three families of lighthouse descendants, and the Beaufort Three-Century Project.


Listed at our 5K Race and Walk are a great way to experience our newly widened, graded, and shell surfaced trails! Winding through the maritime forest and along the lagoon, you will love this event.

Prizes for winners and tee-shirts for all. DOWNLOAD 5K FORM and pre-register with your credit card HERE. On-site registration from 12-12:45 pm at the Nature Center. Awards for winners will be presented at the Nature Center following the race.

Tom Valentino


Location: On the Beach in front of the Lighthouse. Listen to the Heritage Steel Band playing Beach Music during the contest. Register at the Beach Tent.

Tools Permitted: Hand and sculpting tools including: buckets, shovels, sand scoops, carving tools, putty knives, spray bottles for water, kitchen utensils, scrapers, strainers, rakes, etc.

Materials: Use only natural materials found on or near the beach. Decorations such as shells, reeds, and small rocks may be used. No artificial decorations or materials are permitted (exception: category #5 below).
Prizes awarded in each of several age and group Categories:

1) Sand Fleas (up to 8 years old—must have adult supervision)

2) Sand Hoppers (ages 9Ė15)

3) Sand Tribes (families)

4) Sand Shapers (adult or small team of adults)

5) Sand Fantasies (only families with children age 7 and under) Multi-media presentation—artificial decorations or materials permitted—dolls or action figures, plus small accessories.

Judging: (Provided by Arts Council of Beaufort County) Based on Originality, Composition and Technique.

Award presentations: At the tent on the beach ~3:00 PM

Nancy Grimaldi, Sand Sculpture Chair


Elementary, middle, and high school students from both sides of the Broad River will display their art work at the USCB Performing Arts Center as part of the 150th Lighthouse Celebration. The art, the culmination of long-term preparations, will depict some aspect of Hunting Island and its lighthouse. See the Beaufort Gazette article—August 19, 2009

On the evening of Saturday, October 17th, the Performing Arts Center will host the art display and separate receptions for students and adults, followed by the performance of an original play by Suzanne Larson depicting life at the lighthouse.

Local dignitaries such as the mayor of Beaufort, the superintendent of Beaufort County Schools, state senators and representatives, and sponsors of the lighthouse celebration weekend will choose pieces of the art to hang at the venue of their choice. The event is free to all participants, their families and interested individuals.

Roberta Gunderson, Art Exhibit Committee Chair


Come one, come all—moms, dads, children, grandparents and friends—to the entertainment highlight of the weekend celebration, an original play written for Hunting Islandís Grand Lady on the occasion of her 150th birthday!

hunting island lightkeeper

The setting is the isolated lighthouse on the barrier island, long before it became Hunting Island State Park, just one day after the devastating hurricane of August 28, 1893. The lone inhabitants of the island are the lighthouse keeper and assistant keepers and their families. Visitors are rare; the crew of the occasional supply boat from the mainland, a few unlucky sailors from sinking ships taking shelter now and then.

Enjoy with us the three-act, interactive play authored by producer of "A Light on Treacherous Waters" documentary, Suzanne Larson. In "The People of the Light" she weaves a story rich in historical background with the day-to-day challenges faced by the islandís inhabitants. Ms. Larson showcases life on the island as it was during the 1890ís and early 1900ís in Beaufortís history.

At the end of the play, noted historian Lawrence Rowland, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, will conduct a "Question & Answer" discussion with the audience on topics of historical significance during the period in which the play is set.

Friends of Hunting Island State Park gratefully acknowledges a planning grant from The Humanities Council of South Carolina, a state program of the National Endowment from the Humanities; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history culture and heritage. For tickets, $5.00 (under 17 free), call Beaufort Performing Arts (843) 521-4145, (Saturday update! There are still seats! Call for tickets!)

Connie Brotzman, Play Committee Chair
humanities council SC grant awards

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