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It’s the majesty and strength, I think, of this beacon purposely designed to withstand four times the strength of the strongest hurricanes and provide light in the darkness.

Poppin’ Up

MAC’s Pop-Up Beer Garden last month was a huge success. Although the lightning closed us down a little earlier than we intended, MAC was able to raise nearly $5,000. This time around, they’re looking to beat that total — and they can use all the help they can get. The recent state government shutdown caused them to miss out on almost $20,000.

We’re glad to help put a dent in that loss… and have a blast doing it!

The festivities will start at 4pm on August 17th — as the days are growing shorter, this will give you enough time to set up your chairs to catch the most beautiful sunset in the State.

There’ll be great music all night long from Dave Rettinger and The Honeyhawks. Hank Sauce and Matt’s BBQ and Grill will be serving up great food, and we’ll be running a trolley from the Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street all night. We’ll be pouring Demisemi, Cape May IPA, and The Bog.

And when you partner with an organization such as MAC, you know you’re in for a good time.

These guys are the real deal. They’ve been tirelessly working to preserve and protect Cape May’s extraordinarily rich history since the 70s. They’ve spent countless hours and millions of dollars to bring you such sites as the Emlen Physick Estate, now restored to its Victorian grandeur by MAC.

They restored Fire Control Tower 23 — better known to loyal CMBC fans as Tower 23 — in 2009. Staircases, walkways, decks, windows, doors, and ladders were added, as well as recreating historical details like the watch room and viewing platform.

MAC has scores of tours and events. Shakespeare at the Estate, the Cape May Music Festival, last week’s Crab and Craft Beer Festival, Sherlock Holmes Weekend, Christmas in Cape May… and, of course, their famed Ghost Tours that will clue you in on many of the namesakes of this year’s Barrel Aged Series.

But the crown jewel in MAC’s crown — indeed, one of the crown jewels of the Eastern Seaboard — is Cape May’s gorgeous lighthouse.

“I love watching people’s faces who see the Cape May Lighthouse for the first time,” says MAC Director of Media Relations, Susan Krysiak. “It’s a mixture of awe and delight. Some people just stop and stare. It’s the majesty and strength, I think, of this beacon purposely designed to withstand four times the strength of the strongest hurricanes and provide light in the darkness.”

Since 1859, the lighthouse has been guiding ships safely to shore at the southernmost tip of New Jersey. The beacon was automated in the 1930s when the Coast Guard began maintaining the workings of the lighthouse. In the 80s, the USCG began leasing the nation’s lighthouses to local preservation groups, like MAC, who were better-equipped to handle their upkeep.

The restoration project took over 15 years and cost nearly $2 million, restoring the oil house, the lantern roof and windows, the interior walls, and the staircase of the lighthouse. In addition, an archaeological investigation located the original privies and walkways and restored the grounds of the site.

Repainted in its original color scheme of light beige and red, the lighthouse sees nearly 100,000 visitors each year. The unofficial symbol of Cape May, the lighthouse is emblazoned on everything from hats to fanny packs to logos for numerous businesses throughout the city.

Is there a better place in Cape May for MAC to hold their next Pop-Up Beer Garden?

And, of course, you won’t want to leave until you’ve toured the lighthouse. You’ll be able to climb the 199 steps to the watch gallery for an exciting and wind-whipped view of the surrounding area. As you climb, you’ll discover the history and unique features of this gem and learn through interpretive panels what life as a Lighthouse Keeper was like, the history of the surrounding area, how the lamp stayed lit prior to electricity, how the lighthouse’s sturdy construction made it a fortress in the face of nor’easters and hurricanes for over a century, and more. Lighthouse Keepers will be available to answer questions.

When we’re finally done at 9:30, you’ll wonder where the evening went.

We love to Be a Good Neighbor, and MAC has been a good neighbor to all of Cape May for their entire existence. Swing down to the lighthouse next week, have a few beers, tour an architectural marvel, and help out an organization that’s been working tirelessly to preserve Cape May for over forty years.

See you there!