As dark was arriving, everyone gathered at G and First Street. Mayor Heather Davis harkened to the days when his grandfather used the Cedar Key Light Station to get home from sea. County Commissioner John Meeks pointed out that no one alive today has seen the light turned on, until those of us gathered do on this night. Refuge Manager Andrew Gude told us that our Nature Coast is the longest, darkest, most undeveloped coastline in the contiguous US. NCBS Director told us how we managed to get the funding to relight the Cedar Key Light Station on Seahorse Key National Wildlife Refuge. With the help of the Historical Society's Carol McQueen, the last woman to live at the Light Station, Catherine Hobday came to life and told her story. Anna Hodges executive director of the Cedar Key Historical Society led the "flash mob" in singing the Star Spangled Banner.
At 9:30, Captain Kenny McCain and Refuge Deputy Manager Larry Woodward, out on Seahorse Key, flipped the switch and all of us on shore celebrated the lighting with sparklers and fireworks launched from boats in the channel. Read more in Cedar Key News.
Saturday, July 6th was a gorgeous day for the Seahorse Key Open House . . . early on. More than 200 people came out to meet the Refuge staff, the Nature Coast Biological Station scientists, and the Friends of the Lower Suwanee and Cedar Keys Refuges. At midday, Mother Nature shortened the event with a dramatic storm. A very impressive end to a wonderful week.