Aquarium To Host 14th Annual Sea Of Lights

November 06, 2006

The holiday festival is December 1 and 2

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will host the 14th Annual Sea of Lights December 1 and 2, offering something for everyone in the family. The Aquarium will close at 5:00 pm and reopen from 6:30 to 9:30 pm for two evenings of holiday music, entertainment, a dazzling light display and refreshments. The celebration has become a regional holiday tradition with visitors from all over the state returning every year. “There are families who love to come to the beach every year and combine coastal holiday shopping with an evening at the Aquarium,” said Public Relations Manager Cindy Hanson. Admission is two items of food for Lincoln County Food Share, or a new unwrapped toy, or pet food for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, or $2 for adults $1 for children.

Entertainment will include the Coastalaires, a local barbershop group, the Lincoln County Youth Handbell Choir, face painting and crafts. Visitors will enjoy thousands of lights twinkling along the Aquarium’s tree lined paths next to sea otters, harbor seals, and sea lions. “There is more entertainment in the works,” said Hanson. “We’re planning a lot of holiday magic for this year’s event!”

The Aquarium lobby will be lit up with festive Christmas trees including a pet tree decorated with photos of pets available for adoption at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. Children can have their pictures taken with Santa as they tell him their holiday wishes. Aquarium volunteers will hold a bake sale offering candy, cookies, fudge and holiday confections at affordable prices with proceeds benefiting the Aquarium Volunteer Program.

The Aquarium membership desk will offer gift ideas like memberships, personalized bricks in the Aquarium’s entryway, tile art and adopt-an-animal. The Kingfisher Grille and Aquarium Gift Shop will be open with a wide variety of gift ideas, hot chocolate and holiday treats.

“The Sea of Lights is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together and teach children about giving to those in need,” said Hanson. Last year the Aquarium collected 2,015 pounds of food at the Sea of Lights. The food was donated to Lincoln County Food Share, which serves six independent food pantries, two meal sites and six supplemental nutrition programs. The event also took in three giant boxes of toys which were donated to the Community Development Corporation of Lincoln County, a nonprofit corporation that strives to meet the housing needs of low income and special needs residents of Lincoln County.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is rated among the top 10 aquariums in the nation by Coastal Living magazine and USA Today. Spirit Magazine called the Passages of the Deep exhibit “the coolest 50 yards on the Oregon Coast!” Visitors are amazed as they walk beneath the waves through a 200-foot clear underwater tunnel and realize they’re completely surrounded by sharks, rays and other fish swimming all around them. The most recent exhibit, Claws! explores the beauty and diversity of marine crustaceans from around the world.