SANTA CRUZ, CA -- The City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department invites the community to the Santa Cruz Lighthouse Light Dedication, Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm at 701 West Cliff Drive. Congressman Sam Farr, Mayor Lynn Robinson and Director of Parks and Recreation Dannettee Shoemaker will lead the ceremonies celebrating the return of a solid beam light to Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, home of the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.
The switch to a solid beam from a blinking light is thanks to a cooperative effort between the City of Santa Cruz and the Coast Guard inspired by lighthouse aficionados Bill Simpkins and Jim Thoits. Although the lighthouse is owned by the city, the light itself was owned by the Coast Guard. Two and a half years ago the Coast Guard replaced the solid beam with a blinking light. Simpkins and Thoits approached the city in hopes of bringing back the solid beam for historic and aesthetic reasons. The only hitch was that a change in ownership of the light had to be agreed upon with the city assuming responsibility for owning and maintaining it. The Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council approved the ownership change, lighting the way for the return of the solid beam.
It is expected that the light will last 20 years or more because it is housed indoors and will better withstand weather and power outages. Carol Scurich, Recreation Superintendent said, "This was a great collaboration involving the community, federal and local agencies. The lighthouse is an iconic symbol for Santa Cruz and Parks and Recreation is proud to maintain it."
For more information, call City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation, 831-420-5270.