BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina is celebrating a big birthday this weekend.
Old Baldy Lighthouse is turning 200 and there is a lot planned to celebrate its anniversary throughout the day Saturday. Organizers and volunteers putting it all together could not be more excited!
“It’s 200 years old. And for something to be standing 200 years old, to me is just wonderful,” Old Baldy Foundation Volunteer Phil Fravel said.
Old Baldy was built in 1817 come Saturday the festivities will begin. Old Baldy Foundation Program Coordinator Susan Grantier says it is amazing how important the lighthouse is to our state.
“It’s just such an important part of North Carolina’s history. Because it helped guide ships into the port of Wilmington. Which of course was our largest colonial city. And really help generate the economy here in North Carolina,” Grantier said.
Guiding more than just ships, Old baldy is a landmark worth celebrating.
“I think it’s a treasure of the state,’ Old Baldy Foundation Executive Director Chris Webb said. “The coast of North Carolina has huge maritime history and the lighthouses were a big, big part of that maritime history. And if we don’t celebrate them we’re not celebrating the people and the adventurers.”
In honor of turning 200 years old there will be plenty to do.
“You can climb for free all day long from 10:00. The last climb is 3:30 and then we close up at 4. The birthday party is from 2:00 until 4:00. We’re going to have an Easter egg hunt,” Webb said.
After that there will be an event featuring special visitors and island leaders. And that is not all.
“We have a 4-foot birthday cake. We got a big birthday card bigger than that window. So everyone’s gonna have an opportunity to sign it,” Fravel said.
This weekend will give people near and far the chance to experience Old Baldy like they have never been able to before. 110 feet tall and 108 steps to the top, the view is worth the climb.
You get to experience a 360-degree view of the island, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, the ocean, the river, Fort Fisher, and Carolina Beach.
“People come from all over the county, all over the world to be honest with you,” Fravel said.
For all the celebrations this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.