Saturday, June 3, 2023

Next weekend: Celebrate ‘National Lighthouse Day’ with beer, pirates, and more at Old Baldy

The event celebrates the 1789 Congressional Act that helped support American lighthouses. And what better way to celebrate than with historical reenactments --- and plenty of beer.

Old Baldy, the state's oldest standing lighthouse, is celebrating National Lighthouse Day. (Port City Daily photo | Courtesy Abby Sachs)
Old Baldy, the state’s oldest standing lighthouse, is celebrating National Lighthouse Day. (Port City Daily photo | Courtesy Abby Sachs)

BALD HEAD ISLAND — Old Baldy, North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse, is celebrating National Lighthouse Day with two days of festivities.

National Lighthouse Day celebrates the August 7, 1789 Congressional Act to support lighthouses, beacons, and other maritime navigation aids. In 1989, Congress passed a resolution officially recognizing the anniversary of the act as National Lighthouse Day.

“Old Baldy Lighthouse joins lighthouses across the country in celebration of National Lighthouse Day. The day provides recognition of the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country. The day celebrates safety, heroism and American ingenuity,” Chris Webb, executive director of the Old Baldy Foundation, said.

The Old Baldy Foundation has two days of activities planned for Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5.

The event kicks off with the Old Baldy Duck Race. Participatants can “adopt” a duck for $10, with a chance to win $500. According to Events Coordinator Abby Sachs, “on Saturday, August 4th at 3 pm, we will float all of the adopted ducks down the creek behind the Bald Head Harbor. The owner of the first place duck will win $500. You do not need to be present to win the grand prize.”

Saturday evening at 6 p.m. the Bald Head Island Club is hosting “A Night aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge,” featuring historical reenactors including the pirate Blackbeard (a.k.a. Edward Teach).

According to Sachs, “the evening will start with cocktail tastings and beer from Mother Earth Spirits and Brewery while mingling with Blackbeard. Following the cocktail hour, enjoy a five-course meal while hearing some of the intrepid tales Blackbeard faced in his many adventures. As a thank you for supporting the Old Baldy Foundation event attendees will take home a signed copy of ‘The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate’ by esteemed coastal Historian Kevin Duffus.”

The festival also includes several races on Sunday afternoon, including a 5K, 10K and “1-Mile Fun Run.” Those who sign up to race can receive a tee shirt, custom finishers medal, free beer card, signature tote bag, and more.

Other notable features of the event include downtown Wilmington’s Iron Clad Brewery, which will be onsite pouring “Old Baldy Golden Ale,” and the staff from the Maritime Museum of Southport, who will be offering “colonial games, and different historic reenactors, including Thomas Jefferson,” according to Sachs.

The event is made possible by the sponsors and volunteers who support the Old Baldy Foundation. For more information, visit or contact

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