CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Saturday, Sept. 10, was Maine’s Open Lighthouse Day.
Sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, the celebration means the otherwise closed lighthouses are open to the public.
Maine's lighthouses are iconic landmarks that have defined its coastline for centuries.
“I have always wanted to visit Maine because I see beautiful pictures of it in movies,” said CIndy Ashworth, who was visiting Maine for the first time from Atlanta.
The lighthouses draw crowds from all over the country.
Many of them are no longer operating and closed to the public, but on Open Lighthouse Day, visitors were able to go inside their favorites of the tall structures.
Maine's Open Lighthouse day is a chance for the state to open 22 of its lighthouses to enthusiastic visitors.
“I've heard a lot of different terms used. Breathtaking, amazing, incredible,” said Tony Robb, who works for the Coast Guard and is a technician at Portland Head Light.
This day draws tens of thousands to Portland Head Light, which is closed 364 days of the year. Many people have failed to make the list to climb to the top year after year since there is such a high demand, but only 200 to 300 people can climb during this one day of the year.
For some people, it's not about seeing Maine's lighthouses for the first time but reminiscing from decades past.
Jim Orrock Is visiting Maine for a Coast Guard reunion and his wedding anniversary.
He fondly remembers his time with his wife living near Maine's coast and taking romantic walks near Portland Head Light.
“When I was at sea, [my wife] liked to go down to the other lighthouse...and do the captain's wife thing of looking out to sea and waiting for her husband to return from the sea.”
Maine's lighthouses harbor thousands of stories from all walks of life.
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