Door County 2021 Lighthouse Festivals: Celebrating the Allure Of Lake Michigan’s Lighthouses

 In Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse, Algoma Visitor Center, Special Events, Travel

The primary purpose of a lighthouse is to serve as an aid to navigation (ATON) for mariners but there is just something about these structures that draws people to want to learn more.

The Door County Lighthouse Festivals aim to do just that, celebrating the lights that line the Lake Michigan shore from up and down the Door Peninsula to Kewaunee County as well as the southern end of the Bay of Green Bay.  The Spring 2021 festival takes place June 11-13 and the Fall festival is scheduled for October 1-3. There are many excursions including by air, land, and sea.  Some lights are open for tours while others are view only. More information about the festivals and a link to purchase tickets for tours and excursions that require them can be found on the Door County Museum’s website here.  View the festival brochure here.

Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse

Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse as seen from the mouth of the Ahnapee River

Part of the 2021 festival is the Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse located on the north pier of the Algoma Harbor.

While it is not open for tours, festival goers can learn more about the light by stopping by the Algoma Visitor Center, 1226 Lake St. Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10AM – 5PM, and Sunday June 13, 2021, 10AM -1PM.

There is no cost for the Algoma portion of the festival.

The ‘Lady in Red’ makes a great backdrop for photos and is visible from just about anywhere near the lake, including deceptive views while driving east on some of the city streets.

Also part of the festival is the Kewaunee Pierhead lighthouse that will be open to walk through June 11 and 13 from 12-5pm. Stop out and walk through the lighthouse and take in the Lake Michigan view! The Kewaunee County Historical Society, 217 Ellis St. in Kewaunee has the Fresnel lens from the Kewaunee light on display and will also be open during the festival.

All of the lights in the festival are also part of a fun, family activity – the United States Lighthouse Society‘s Passport Program!  Grab a passport for just $14.95 at the Door County Maritime Museum, 120 North Madison Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, Death’s Door Maritime Museum (Gills Rock) 12724 West Wisconsin Bay Road, Ellison Bay, or the Cana Island lighthouse, 8800 East Cana Island Road, Baileys Harbor.  When you visit a lighthouse, you get your passport stamped!  Remember to also join the Passport Club on the US Lighthouse Society’s website!  The Algoma stamp is located at Old Salty’s Gift Shop/Harbor Inn Motel at 99 Michigan St. in Algoma.  Cana Island has a stamp there, and stamps for a number of Door County lighthouses are available at the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

You can take your love of lighthouses even farther by trekking the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.  This tour includes 105 lighthouses in four states! The Algoma Visitor Center has copies of the Lake Michigan Lighthouse Map & Circle Tour brochure or you can view the online version on the West Michigan Tourist Association’s website here.


Algoma Lighthouse 2014
Algoma Lighthouse 2014
Algoma Lighthouse 2014
Algoma Lighthouse 2014

September 2014, some members of the Algoma Area Chamber  of Commerce Board of Directors got to take a tour of the newly painted Algoma Pierhead lighthouse and experience a view that so few get to see.

Photos © Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce.

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