CAMBRIDGE — Boosted by a statewide event that sent hundreds of visitors around the state to visit 10 lighthouses and one lightship, the Choptank River Lighthouse in Cambridge enjoyed the busiest weekend of visitation in its seven-year history during the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge Sept. 20-22.
The team of 18 community volunteers who staffed the facility over three 10-hour days welcomed 685 visitors. More than 400 of those visitors were participating in the Challenge, a biennial affair sponsored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.
Lighthouse Challenge visitors came from 19 different states, with the most distant locales being Washington, Texas and Montana.
“This is the first record that we’re announcing this year, but I suspect it won’t be the last,” said Cassie Burton, president of the board of the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation, a community nonprofit that promotes the Lighthouse and manages the visitor experience at the city-owned beacon.
“We still have a way to go in our May-through-October visitation season, but we’ll probably end up with record visitation numbers for the season as a whole as well,” Burton said.
Burton noted that two other events helped boost attendance on the record-setting weekend. The Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race was held on that Saturday, and the Dorchester Center for the Arts Showcase was held on that Sunday.
“With attractions like ours gaining in prominence and first-rate events like these on our community calendar, word is getting out across the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond into other areas about how much there is to see and do in Cambridge, and how rich our heritage is,” she said.