In recent years, when the calendar turns to the month of December, residents along Rhode Island’s northern Narragansett Bay can look forward to Pomham Rocks’ Lighthouse Santa taking to the water with his trusty “elves” to help spread some Christmas joy.
On December 4, 2010, Lighthouse Santa and his jolly crew did just that as a decorated convoy of boats escorted the man in the red suit along the shoreline of the bay where he waved to observers from his unique maritime platform aboard a lobster boat.
The Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, derives as much joy and satisfaction from the Lighthouse Santa event as the young and old alike who make it a point to find a good vantage point for viewing the fun-filled event.
For all the Christmas joy the event is able to generate within the community, Lighthouse Santa also has another important reason that he takes to the water each year – raising awareness for the preservation of the gorgeous Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.
“Santa on the northern Narragansett Bay is a primary annual event by the Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse to highlight the historic lighthouse and our chapter’s community outreach efforts,” said Don Doucette, FPRL chairman.
But Santa couldn’t take to the bay for this important mission without boats for him and his “elves.” To this end, two new boats were added to the 2010 Lighthouse Santa run, and their appearance could not have been more appropriate. The two 18-foot Tripp Anglers sported lighthouse colors and spirited stenciling that conveyed great pride for Pomham Rocks Light.
“This year’s event also provided a perfect venue for FPRL to display our work-in-progress restoration of the two utility fire boats that the City of East Providence had donated to our chapter,” said Doucette. “Speaking of the boats themselves, they ran perfectly during the event, which is a testament to the team of volunteers who have spent many hours rehabbing these vessels.”
During the 2010 event, Lighthouse Santa and his “elves” greeted onlookers along a rock jetty at Narragansett Terrace, Rose Larisa Park, Sabin Point Park and in front of the Stonegate Apartment, which overlooks the lighthouse and where Santa’s crew performs a turn-around at Pomham Rocks island.
According to Don Doucette, “Our Santa route borders a tightly clustered urban setting on both the eastern and western shoreline of Narragansett Bay, and so many observers watch the bay spectacle from inside their homes, especially those folks unable to venture outside or those wishing to remain warm indoors. We are, in essence, performing in a natural bay-side ‘stadium,’ if you will, with homes and public open spaces as the preferred seating arrangement.”
With another Narragansett Bay Christmas run in the history books for Lighthouse Santa, we can all look forward to next year’s annual event when Pomham Rocks’ favorite holiday ambassador rides again – to the delight of a Rhode Island bay community and lighthouse enthusiasts everywhere!