Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hull Harbor Illumination Festival

Hull, MA, about 50 minutes south of Boston, is a peninsula town in Plymouth County. Lifesaving has been an important part of Hull history. The Massachusetts Humane Society placed one of its first Huts of Refuge on Nantasket Beach in Hull after the American Revolution. When the Society expanded its boat houses for lifeboats, it placed several in Hull at Stoney Beach, on Nantasket Beach, and near Cohasset. Both Humane Society volunteers and U.S. Life-Savers, are estimated to have saved over 1000 people from shipwrecks since forming in Hull. The exact number is not known because Massachusetts Humane Society records were lost in the Great Boston Fire of 1872. Today, the Hull Lifesaving Museum is located in the 1889 Pt. Allerton Life Saving Station, with the Museum's Maritime Program housed in the old Coast Guard boathouse at Pemberton Point and continues to recognize its heroes with such events as the Hull Harbor Illumination Festival.

A little knowledge for you! In order to honor these incredible rescue efforts, each year the city of Hull puts on this  colorful parade of lit-up boats and an illumination of 1,000 flares on the shoreline of Hull Bay. It is an emotional and moving ceremony for those with historical ties to the area. This annual event begins at 2:00 pm this Saturday, July 30 with a memorial service at Hull Cemetery commemorating the heroism of the MA Humane Society volunteers, U.S. Lifesaving Servicemen, and Coast Guard. The tempo picks up at 3:00 pm with the Illumination Festival offering live music, kids activities, food and craft vendors at L-Street Field. At dusk attendees gather at the shoreline of Hull Bay for the Parade of Boats followed by the awe-inspiring Illumination.

There are many ways to get involved in this event. You can actually enter your boat into the parade for starters! Entries will decorate and illuminate their power or sail vessels (boat must be a minimum of 24 feet or a maximum of 60 feet) for a chance to win the title of "Best Illuminated Vessel". String up those twinkle lights and get creative! Keep in mind, the display needs to be bright enough to see from the shoreline, so the brighter the better. You can also remember a loved one or special moment in your life by sponsoring a flare to be lit or setup a "Forever Flare" to be lit this year and every year in their memory. Also, each year more than 150 volunteers help set-up, light flares, clean-up, greet visitors, pass out programs, booth sit for weary artisans, staff booths, and more. Your help would be much appreciated! The Festival is a great way to get together with friends, be part of a treasured community event and make new friends. Definitely something fun to be involved with!

Be a part of this spectacular Hull tradition of collective celebration and personal remembrance! Even if you can't make it this Saturday, take the time to visit the Hull Lifesaving Museum to learn more and celebrate the courageous efforts the MA Humane Society volunteers, U.S. Lifesaving Servicemen, and Coast Guard. Devour the details and get involved with this special event, you'll be happy you did!

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