Above: “Keeper of Dreams” by Billy Ensign of Norwalk (tied for 5th last year)
The 13th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will feature 24 creative large model lighthouses daily from Nov. 22-Jan. 19. The lighthouses were built by local artists looking for a challenge, by families who wanted to work together on a fun project, and by students fulfilling a school assignment.
Throughout the holiday season, Maritime Aquarium visitors can follow these homemade beacons through the galleries and cast a vote for their favorite. The lighthouse that gets the most votes wins $1,500. There are cash awards for five runners-up too.
“Holiday Cove” by Charlie Kestler of Shelton
Rules of the “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” are kept to a minimum to allow for maximum creativity. Lighthouses must be 3 to 6 feet tall and have a working light, and may not include animal remains, such as shells. Beyond that, it’s up to the creators’ imaginations.
Entering the annual contest seems to be an addiction for some. Fifteen of this year’s 24 entrants are return competitors; many of them are “regulars.”
Entries this year come from several residents of cities close to the Aquarium – Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Bridgeport. But lighthouses also are coming from Monroe, Newtown and Shelton in Connecticut, and Yonkers, Brewster, Katonah, White Plains, New Rochelle and Hartsdale in New York.
“Le Tour Larche” by Jason Larche of Norwalk (won 4th place last year)
Besides the contest’s $1,500 top award, other prizes are: $750 for second place, $375 for third; $300 for fourth; $225 for fifth; and $150 for sixth. Winners will be announced at an evening reception on Jan. 22.
The 2014 “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” is free with Maritime Aquarium general admission, which is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for youths (13-17) & seniors (65+), and $12.95 for children ages 3-12.
For more details about Maritime Aquarium exhibits, IMAX movies and programs, call (203) 852-0700 or go online to maritimeaquarium.org.
10 N Water St, Norwalk; (203) 852-0700