Celebrate Lighthouses at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival

"September Gale"  Grand Haven Breakwater Lighthouse is located in the harbor of Grand Haven, Michigan

“September Gale” Grand Haven Breakwater Lighthouse is located in the harbor of Grand Haven, Michigan, photo by Michigan Nut.

There is no other festival like it in the United States. The organizers have done a fantastic job of drawing both vendors and lighthouse buffs from around the globe to what has become the largest and best lighthouse festival in the nation. October is a wonderful time of the year to visit Michigan, with the beautiful fall colors, close proximity to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island and lots of lighthouses, what more could one ask for?

~Tim Harrison, President of the American Lighthouse Foundation

What more indeed? According to Wikipedia’s US Lighthouses page, Michigan has the most lights of any state with over 150 past and present lights.

It’s definitely fitting to use the most popular lighthouse photo (from John McCormick, the most popular lighthouse photographer) in our Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr to let you know about the annual Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival which takes place October 6-9, 2011 in Alpena.

The Fyddeye Guide to America’s Maritime History says that the festival is the country’s largest lighthouse festival, adding:

The four-day event provides activities for the young and old, including lighthouse tours by personal vehicles, a helicopter tour, or boat tour, entertainment, auctions, dining events, lighthouse exhibits, and shopping. The festival boasts more than 75 maritime-related vendors, including lighthouse preservation groups, artists, nautical crafters, photographers, and authors. This year’s featured guest speakers include Terry Pepper, executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, national gold medal award winning photographer and author Larry Wright, and Sandy Bihn, president of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Society, which operates the 2011 featured attraction, the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

If the name Terry Pepper sounds familiar, he’s the authority we turn to for our lighthouse features and his books on lighthouses are fantastic. Check out Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light and read much from him in the lighthouse category on Michigan in Pictures including our post on the Grand Haven Pier Light.

John took this photo last September. He says to note the guy with the pink surfboard (then see him in the waves in this shot). Check it out bigger and in his fantastic Michigan Lighthouses slideshow.

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