200th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION of OLD BALDY LIGHTHOUSE
-- APRIL 15, 2017 -- Events continuing throughout the year
On Saturday, April 15, 2017 throngs of visitors came out to celebrate Old Baldy's 200th birthday. The day was a success with 450 lighthouse climbers and over 600 total people in attendance. Children enjoyed an Easter egg hunt and collected 3,000 eggs filled with sweet treats. Many North Carolina dignitaries were in attendance and spoke about the importance of Old Baldy to North Carolina history and the Cape Fear region.
The 200th Anniversary celebration will continue all year long with multiple events. May 10-13 is Quilters Week, with an exploration of the role quilts have played in Old Baldy’s history. And on Mother’s Day, May 13th, treat your mother to a tea party on Bald Head Island and leave with a painted parasol. May 18-20 brings the Bald Head Island “Fishing Rodeo” for a bit of seafaring competition. To round out the month of May, a Memorial Day service will be held on Memorial Day, May 29th, to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Coming up next, June 2-4, the Old Baldy Foundation will host a gala North Carolina Treasures Weekend featuring North Carolina history, art, cuisine, and spirits. Guest chefs and distillers will be on the island preparing North Carolina fare. Artist Bob Timberlake will be attending events to discuss his recent work.
Also on that same weekend, esteemed author and historian Kevin Duffus will be on the island signing copies of his latest work, The Story of Cape Fear and Bald Head Island, commissioned by the board of directors of the Old Baldy Foundation. Duffus has delved deep to unearth startling new history and facts regarding the original lighthouse on Smith Island, the existing 1817 lighthouse, and the Cape Fear Lighthouse which existed between 1903 and 1958 on the eastern point of the island. Until the book signing, you can preorder a signed copy in the gift shop or over the phone. Just call the gift shop at 910-457-7481 to reserve your signed copy. The books will be shipped directly to you by mid-June. Further details about the weekend's events will be coming soon.
In addition to the May and June events listed above, Old Baldy is currently (March through May 2017) undergoing one of the most significant restoration efforts in its history. International Chimney Corporation has been busily repairing, restoring, and preserving the aging and deteriorating stucco and brick on the exterior, as well as all of the roof and lantern room bronze work, glass, the copper vent ball, and other needed components. Years of leaking and corrosion have taken their toll on the 200-year old storied lighthouse. Following the repairs, visitors will be able to enjoy this North Carolina landmark for many more decades to come.