Among the fun things you will be be able to do on National Lighthouse Day in Edenton Saturday is to take a shot at dunking a local celebrity — and even get a “guaranteed dunk” if the price is right.
The dunking booth will be $5 for three balls and $20 for a guaranteed dunk.
Bob Hopkins, site manager of Historic Edenton, said the guaranteed dunk was the brainchild of Edenton police Chief Henry King.
The annual celebration of National Lighthouse Day will be held at the historic 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse on the waterfront in Edenton.
“We invite you to celebrate with us and explore how the Riverlights kept those traveling by water safe,” the Chowan County Tourism Development Authority said in a press release.
The lighthouse will be open free to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event also will feature face painting, watermelon slices for sale, a dunking booth, and other low-cost or no-cost activities for families.
Charlene Whitehurst, assistant manager of Historic Edenton, said there will vendors in Colonial Park for the event and also games such as cornhole and various activities for children.
Hopkins said Historic Edenton will provide guided tours of the lighthouse and will have Lucas Crumling, a new member of the Historic Edenton team, at the lighthouse in a lighthouse keeper’s uniform.
The Chowan Edenton Optimist Club will offer its popular train ride at the park for the event.
“We want to make this as festive as we can and we want people to participate in it,” Hopkins said.
King will lead off the array of local celebrity dunking booth occupants with the 10 a.m. time slot. Hopkins has agreed to take the final time slot of the day at 3:30 p.m.
Rounding out the dunking booth roster are:
• 10:30 a.m. — Liza Layton, Edenton-Chowan Partnership
• 11 a.m. — Matt Jones, Edenton Fire Department
• 11:30 a.m. — Jennifer Finlay, director of the Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library
• 12 p.m. — To be announced
• 12:30 p.m. — Leesa Jones, executive director of the Underground Railroad Museum in Washington, N.C.
• 1 p.m. — Evan Heard, Edenton Fire Department
• 1:30 p.m. — Judge Meader Harriss
• 2 p.m. — Nicholas Gummere, UPS
• 2:30 p.m. — Andree Piles, State Historic Sites
• 3 p.m. — Chris Radke, Edenton Fire Department
Erienne Dickman, Chowan TDA director, said the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse is a great attraction for Edenton year-round.
National Lighthouse Day is an opportunity to celebrate the lighthouse’s positive impact on the community in the present as well as its historic importance.
“There are so many people who actually do the lighthouse trail,” Dickman said. “That is a huge draw.”
Dickman said locals also have come to love the lighthouse and it has become an icon for Edenton,
People who are traveling the lighthouse trail in North Carolina can get a stamp for their passport book by visiting the lighthouse. The Penelope Barker House Welcome Center and Historic Edenton both have the stamps available.
Leslie Johnson was visiting the Edenton waterfront with her husband on the morning of July 28 and remarked about how fascinating and appealing the lighthouse is.
“I love it,” said Johnson, who lives in the Triangle area.
She took a picture to show to her children.
“And I will be bringing them back,” Johnson said. “This is gorgeous.”
Johnson said she is glad they found Colonial Park at the town’s waterfront and had a chance to see the lighthouse.
“It’s like it’s hidden,” she said. “If you don’t know it’s here you will miss it.”
All lighthouse organizations across the country are encouraged to celebrate National Lighthouse Day on Aug. 7 each year.