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Buffalo Shines – Lens-Lighting Festival

On Saturday June 25 and Sunday June 26, the community is invited to take part in the relighting of the Buffalo Lighthouse. The Lens-Lighting Festival will include tours of the spiffed up 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse – a landmark that was reopened to the public after years of being gated off as part of the Coast Guard compound. 

A new lens was recently installed at the lighthouse, thanks to the dedication of the Buffalo Lighthouse Association (headed up by Mike Vogel).

Buffalo-Lighthouse-Buffalo-NY-3“The cover was removed from the new third-order lens in the 1833 lighthouse, as we get closer to relighting” noted the organization on a Facebook post. “Although the old U.S. Lighthouse Service used drapes to shield lenses during the day, we’ll be leaving this one on display for the sake of better viewing from both sides of the river!”

Buffalo-Lighthouse-Buffalo-NY-2For generations, the Buffalo Lighthouse has stood watch over the waterfront and the city. Now it will be relit, at a time when much of the city is enjoying a renaissance.

After the festival, the plan is to host an open house one weekend a month during the summer, with group tours available by appointment. The tour schedule is dependent on staffing, which means the popularity of the tours will dictate how often they are scheduled.

During the festival, for $10 visitors will be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse to see the new third-order Fresnel lens up close. The tours will be first come first serve, from noon to 3pm on Saturday. On Sunday, eight visitors at a time will be be guided from level to level, led by Buffalo Lighthouse Association volunteers (wear safe shoes). The crowning moment of the festival will feature the 75-piece Buffalo Niagara Concert Band at 1:30pm on Saturday. The celebration will feature other performances, as well as activities for the kids (including an appearance by Batman on Saturday).

Will Lorenz, otherwise known as ‘Buffalo’s Best Batman‘ will be coming out of retirement for the Buffalo Shines Lighting Festival this weekend.

On Sunday live music includes Three 2 Go Music Alliance from 6pm to 8pm (featuring Melissa Kate, Ron Walker, Tim Webb, and Van Taylor).

This is a waterfront celebration that you won’t want to miss. It signals the rebirth of the waterfront, and the city’s reawakening from years of slumber. This is an event that many people have been waiting to see. The lit signal will soon be aglow once again.

Photos: Buffalo Lighthouse Association

As a tribute to the relighting of the Buffalo Lighthouse, poet Scott Bottoni has put his own thought to paper, as a way to memorialize the event.

         Rust Belt Soul

I’m adrift on this starless night
Lost on this Great Lake
And I’m left to thinking
About all of life’s mistakes
I’ve been lost for years
Confusion my home
Do I stay or do I go
Where should I roam

There’s a silent lighthouse
From centuries ago
That continues to sleep
No longer aglow
And the dark water’s waves
Restlessly roll
Straight into the heart
Of my rust belt soul

Canalers and Lakers tangle
In the steamy harbor’s haze
Livin’ in a gritty town
Built on hard work and whiskey ways
Her generations that follow
Are forged of red hot steel
In factories where sweat and pain
Both come as part of the deal

They say anything worthwhile
Is worth a fight
Well it’s always been that way
In the City of Light
And as I drift with all of the passions
That make me whole
Moonlight slowly falls
On my rust belt soul

Desperate for a change
Done livin’ hand to mouth
So like all the others
I rolled the dice down south
But drifting isn’t paradise
There’s still a cost and dues
And after you’ve paid them
You’ve bought the Buffalo blues

A city’s dreams can become
A living and breathing collective
Like a lantern in the dark
An enlightening perspective
So I’ll hold tight to dreams
The world cannot control
Always guided by the light
Of my rust belt soul

And as my boat gets closer
To her rocky shore
I begin to hear eerie whispers
Of seafarer’s lore
About that lighthouse in the harbor
That welcomed the world to her door
And then I realize that this beacon
Is shining once more

Like the warm front porch light
Of a comfortable home
An inviting place to settle
No longer a need to roam
A stoic sentinel
Safeguarding her immigrant history
The oldest piece of the puzzle
Anchoring her magnetic mystery

And those ghostly voices remind me
That we’ve all paid the toll
With our body, our heart
And our rust belt soul

Yeah, we’ve all paid the toll
With our body, our heart
And our rust belt soul

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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