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The Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival offers summer fun for all

Toledo Harbor Lighthouse
Toledo Harbor Lighthouse
courtesy Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society

Lovers of lighthouses, here's your chance to enjoy a family-friendly summer festival along the waterfront and at the same time, contribute to the preservation and restoration of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse. Just plan a day trip to the 11th annual Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13. It is approximately a one hour, 50 minute drive from Cleveland.

Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival Taking place at the Maumee Bay State Park, the Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival will feature numerous activities that are sure to please you no matter what age but the featured attraction again this year will be boat rides that will take visitors out to the Lighthouse.

Public tours of the inside of the Lighthouse, the old keeper's residence and the light tower on top of the structure are also being offered. The price is $40 per person. All proceeds go to the upkeep and renovation of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse. You must be physically able to climb 76 steps and a 6-rung ladder. No flip-flops are allowed. The boats depart from the marina at Maumee Bay State Park.

An alternate boat ride that will circle the lighthouse island is being offered that will give visitors a spectacular view of the exterior of the lighthouse. Check for pricing. Both tours last approximately one hour and will be offered 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday All tours are offered weather permitting.

Visitors will be able to see the Lighthouse's original light -- a 3.5 order Fresnel Lens, one of the only three in existence.

A Bit About the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Situated on a crib about 5 miles off shore from Maumee Bay State Park, the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse was completed in 1904. Designed in the Romanesque style, this 4000 square foot, 64 foot lighthouse is made of buff brick and has a rolled edge steel roof. The Army Corps of Engineers added boulders to three sides of its base in 1989.

Free activities at the Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival include a sand castle competition, nautical Arts & Crafts, children's activities and a performance by magician Andrew Martin. There will also be a Silent Auction (Proceeds also benefit the Lighthouse restoration).

There will be plenty of free live entertainment all weekend with performers like the Sweet Tea Band, the Toledo School of Arts Steel Drums and the Band of Brothers. There will be a special Summer Faves Concert by Madison Avenue on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.

A multitude of food and beverages will be available for purchase including perch, shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, funnel cakes and ice cream.

Hours for the Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Festival itself is free but remember, there are fees for the boat rides and Lighthouse tours.

For more information about the Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival or to make reservations for the boat tours call 419-691-3788 or get online at www.toledolighthouse.org.

Maumee Bay State Park is located at 1750 State Park Rd. #2 in Oregon, Ohio. It is approximately a one hour, 50 minute drive from Cleveland.