Cape Henry Lighthouse to Celebrate Virginia Beach’s 50th Birthday

Mayor to Receive Key to the Lighthouse Jan. 19; Residents Half Off Admissions

Friday, January 04, 2013

On Saturday, Jan. 19, Preservation Virginia’s Cape Henry Lighthouse will hold a celebration in honor of the City of Virginia Beach’s 50th birthday.  City residents and anyone with a military ID will receive half-price admission to the lighthouse Jan. 19, 20 and 21, bringing the cost to $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for children 12 and younger. The lighthouse will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


At 11 a.m. on Jan. 19, Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. will be given the key to the lighthouse, and all members of the Virginia Beach City Council will be named honorary lighthouse keepers.  There will be birthday cake all day for visitors.


The Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first public building project of the new United States government after the Revolutionary War. It safeguarded maritime traffic from 1792 until 1881, when the new Cape Henry Light was placed into service.  Since 1930, the old lighthouse has been owned and operated by Preservation Virginia, a private nonprofit group dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage.


The modern City of Virginia Beach was created on Jan. 1, 1963, by merging the small, seaside community of Virginia Beach with the sprawling, rural Princess Anne County. The city will celebrate its golden anniversary with festivities all year long, culminating in a street festival in October at the beach. Visit for the latest news and event announcements.


The Cape Henry Lighthouse is located within Fort Story. All visitors without military ID must enter through Gate 8 at the end of Atlantic Avenue.  All visitors who are 16 or older must show a valid federal or state-issued ID card or student ID card.  Visitors will be required to show the current registration and proof of insurance for their vehicles.  Security personnel have the right to examine every car before issuing a pass to enter the military base. Please allow a few extra minutes for entry.


For your safety and comfort, note that guests must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the lighthouse. Children may not be carried up the steps. Backpacks and frontpacks are not allowed on the staircase.


Also located nearby at Fort Story is the Cape Henry Memorial, a part of the National Park Service.


Any media wishing to attend this event MUST contact Spencer Layne, assistant public affairs officer at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort story, for access prior to the event.  Layne can be reached at (757) 462-8423 or


For more information on the Cape Henry Lighthouse, contact Stuart Nesbit, site coordinator, at (757) 422-9421 or


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