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200th Lighthouse Anniversary Celebration

Partners: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Friends of Cape Florida

Key Biscayne, FL (October 27, 2023) – The Cape Florida Light, a historical landmark perched on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is set to celebrate its 200th anniversary, marking two centuries of maritime history and cultural significance. This iconic lighthouse, which has stood as a beacon of safety and guidance, was first constructed in 1825 to aid sailors navigating the waters around the Florida Reef, extending from Key Biscayne to the Florida Keys. Commencing on December 17, 2024, and continuing throughout the year until December 17, 2025, a diverse program of events has been planned to commemorate the rich history of Miami-Dade County’s oldest standing structure.

Over the years, the Cape Florida Light has played a vital role in safeguarding maritime traffic, despite occasional interruptions in its service. In 1878, its active duty came to a close as the Fowey Rocks lighthouse assumed responsibility for maritime navigation in the area. However, the U.S. Coast Guard reactivated the Cape Florida Light in 1978 as a guiding marker for the Florida Channel, the natural and deepest channel leading into Biscayne Bay. This revival came to an end when the Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1990.

A new chapter in the lighthouse’s history began in 1996 when the Dade Heritage Trust undertook a meticulous restoration. Now, as the Cape Florida Light approaches its bicentennial, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, and Friends of Cape Florida have joined forces to celebrate this remarkable milestone.

These events will shed light on the lighthouse’s multifaceted past, from its role as a launching point for the saltwater railroad to its stint as a temporary clubhouse for the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club in the late 19th century.

The broader community is invited to partner, collaborate, or support the 200th anniversary celebrations of the lighthouse. Together, we’ll illuminate the past, present, and future of this historic structure. A comprehensive list of events will be unveiled in mid-2024.

Event Details: Location: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Date: Numerous events will take place throughout the year, culminating in the grand bicentennial celebration on December 17, 2025.

About the Partners:
Florida Department of Environmental Protection: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for protecting Florida’s natural resources and cultural heritage.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a popular destination known for its beautiful beaches, historic lighthouse, and natural beauty.

Friends of Cape Florida: Friends of Cape Florida is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Cape Florida Light and its historical significance.

About the Cape Florida Light The Cape Florida Light is a historic lighthouse located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County, Florida. It was first constructed in 1825 and has played a crucial role in maritime navigation and the cultural heritage of South Florida. The lighthouse stands as an enduring symbol of the region’s rich history and is a beloved icon for residents and visitors alike.