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While folks in the Northeast and a good deal of the rest of the country look for cool places to escape the heat wave, Barnegat Light had something else in mind. They built a big bonfire.
I guess when they were making up the schedule of events, late June seemed like it might be a good time for the annual Bonfire/Marshmallow roast at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. In years past , I found it very pleasant sitting on the sand, listening to the Basement band play oldies as the sun set behind the lighthouse. The addition of a bonfire enticed many families to come prepared with sticks to toast their marshmallows.
This year, the evening temperature still hovered around the mid-90s, there was no breeze, and the flies were left over from the daytime west wind. Once the fire erupted, the flies took off, a small breeze began to blow, and the temperature dropped a few degrees. And then Old Barney's beacon began to shine.
The lighthouse was opened for climbing during the evening hours, a rare treat for us hearty souls who just had to climb to the top at night to see the Island all lit up. By the time we climbed down, the fire was perfect for mallow toasting. It didn't take folks long to discover that just around the corner, Kelly's ice cream bar was open. In no time, there was a line of people half way into the parking lot, waiting to purchase their ice cream.
I didn't see any of you at the top of the lighthouse! Don't worry. You'll have another chance: The event will take place again the last Friday in July.