We’re all familiar with Santa’s favorite mode of transportation each December – a festive sleigh escorted by his faithful reindeer – and Rudolph too, but that doesn’t mean the man in the red suit doesn’t enjoy a cool boat ride now and then, especially when it involves seeing his favorite lighthouse.
Like us, Santa knows it takes many hands and lots of support to save something as precious as our lighthouses – and there is no better time to raise community awareness for the beacons of the sea than Christmastime, when the spirit of giving is at its brightest.
And what is Santa’s favorite lighthouse you might ask?
Well, if you query the good folks along Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay community they’ll tell you without hesitation that the Jolly Fellow’s favorite light is Pomham Rocks Lighthouse!
In fact, they’ll cite the fact that the proof is in the pudding, for Santa Claus – or “Pomham Santa” as he is affectionately known in these parts, has made it a point to ply past Pomham Rocks Lighthouse each Christmas season since 2007.
Careful not to talk about this wonderful briny trip in front of his reindeer, Pomham Santa chooses his most trusty “elves” with the keenest of boating skills to parade him close along the shoreline of East Providence to greet the public and share the joy of Christmastime with young and old alike.
On November 26, 2011 Pomham Santa made his fifth trip up Narragansett Bay to the delight of many excited and waving onlookers. His appearance on the water not only inspired a tide of joy and smiles; it also reminded the bay communities like those at Sabin Point, Cranston and Pawtuxet Cove of their important connection to the sea.
And though Pomham Santa never fails to pass by and admire his favorite lighthouse during the annual bay runs, he decided this year it was high time to pay Pomham Rocks Lighthouse a special visit by setting foot on the island.
What Pomham Santa discovered was just how good and hardworking the Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has been all these years.
He quickly noticed that the exterior of the lighthouse has been lovingly restored and cared for, and the navigational light – that beautiful, bright red beacon (his favorite color by the way) – how it too has been restored to the historic lantern high above the bay.
Pomham Santa was also impressed with the new upgrades added to the light station’s dock in 2011, all of which helped make his visit onto the island a safe and easy one.
After taking in the views from atop the tower and waving to those ashore, Pomham Santa called for his elves who whisked him away in his boat.
But have no fear – Pomham Santa will return again next year to greet the growing numbers of people enamored by this holiday tradition, and when he does, you can count on him doing more than spreading Christmas joy.
The Jolly Fellow will also share the heartwarming story of how the Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse continue to faithfully endeavor to gift posterity with a beautifully restored Pomham Rocks Lighthouse so that others can cherish its history and appreciate its charm as much as those in the present do.
Pomham Santa’s annual Christmas trip up Narragansett Bay is made possible thanks to a team effort by the Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.
FPRL wishes to thank the Pomham Santa / Elf team of Andrew Leddy, Rob Charbonneau, Joe Estrella and Nate Wroblinski, as well as Mary Chace, Jean & Gary Zunda, Anne Greene, Nancy Doucette and David Kelleher who served hot chocolate and munchies to the crowd of children and adults who waited for Pomham Santa to pass by Sabin Point. FPRL also wishes to thank Laura McNamara for taking photos of the event from Sabin Point and the “elves” for establishing a Christmas wreath on the oil house at Pomham Rocks Lighthouse.