|Photo: Andy Milford andymilford.com|
For more than twenty years, members of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse [Preservation Society] have decorated the lighthouse for the holiday season. Once again, this year the house is illuminated for the pleasure of the residents on both the Columbia County and Greene County sides of the Hudson River. The display is also enjoyed by the passing tugs and barges that ply the river during the winter months as a peaceful reminder of the holiday season on the river. Amtrak riders are treated to the site just before they arrive in Hudson or just after they leave the station on the way to NYC. Once you view the lighthouse you might wonder just how challenging and complicated this could be?
Before the river freezes volunteers travel by boat to the lighthouse and climb from the very top of the tower to the lower railings and around every corner of the lighthouse structure until it is completely outlined with white lights. When the decoration tradition began, members would boat out to the lighthouse the day after Thanksgiving. They would bring a few strings of lights and spend the afternoon putting up lights. Some years, the winter wind would blow, and it would be very cold, and some years it would snow, but that would not discourage the lighthouse members from their task of bringing joy to the twin counties. Every year more lights have been added to the display, this year is one of the best. Recognition to the brave and hearty volunteers who travel out to the lighthouse before the end of the boating season, we now do it in October. This year, Tom Hoffman, Michelle Tara, Bob Taylor, Carol Gans, and Lou Mossman did the lion’s share of the decorating. For the past several years, the Bank of Greene County has generously provided the more than 1000 feet of lights it takes. The approximately 100 hours of work is undertaken by the volunteers. The house is illuminated on the first weekend in December and remains lit until the last day in February.
Every year when we turn on the lights there is the excitement of what will it look like. Will the work we did stand up to the weather? Will all of the lights work? Did we forget something? You never know, and because it is not possible to go back and fix it, we need to live with what we have.
It is known that the decorated lighthouse is a favorite subject for photographers during the winter season. If this is something you have done each year, or would like to do, this is the year to take your photograph of the holiday lights on the lighthouse. The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse [Preservation] Society is inviting people to submit a night time photograph of the 2017- 2018 decorated lighthouse. The selected photograph will be copied, matted, and sold at our gift shop to benefit the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. The invitation is open to everyone, professional and amateur. All photographs will become property of the Hudson Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. Credit will be given to the photographer of the selected photograph. Please send your photograph to Hudson Valley Ent. Lighthouse Photo, 191 Route 23B stop 10, Hudson NY 12534. If you prefer, email your photo to HVE12534@gmail.com. Photographs must be received by March 15, 2018.COPYRIGHT 2017 CAROLE OSTERINK