BEDFORD, N.Y. – Barbara Boies, a Katonah resident, and her gumball lighthouse, "Blowing Bubbles at Sea" are vying for the $1,500 grand prize in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 13th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest,” opening Saturday, Nov. 22.
Boies’ “Blowing Bubbles at Sea” is among the 24 creative handmade entries in the holiday display, which will be open daily through Jan. 19 at the popular Connecticut family attraction.
The lighthouse contest works like a juried art show except that thousands of other Maritime Aquarium visitors are the jury. Visitors can follow the homemade beacons through the galleries and cast a vote for their favorite. The lighthouse that gets the most votes wins $1,500. There are cash awards for five runners-up, too.
The 24 lighthouses were built by local artists looking for a challenge, by families who wanted to work together on a fun project, and by students fulfilling a school assignment.
With help from her daughter, Caroline, 10, Boies employed some 3,500 gumballs in her “Blowing Bubbles at Sea.” The tall, round base is covered in red gumballs and sports a coin slot typically found on gumball machines. This base leads up to a traditional bowl of multi-colored gumballs, topped by a twirling red emergency light. Ringing the bowl are little figures, all of them blowing bubble-gum bubbles.
Lighthouses must be 3 to 6 feet tall and have a working light, and may not include animal remains, such as shells.
Besides the contest’s $1,500 top award, other prizes are: $750 for second place, $375 for third; $300 for fourth; $225 for fifth; and $150 for sixth. Winners will be announced at an evening reception on Jan. 22.
The 2014 “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” is free with Maritime Aquarium general admission, which is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for youths (13-17) and seniors (65+), and $12.95 for children ages 3-12.
The aquarium is located at 10 N. Water St. in South Norwalk. For more information visit www.maritimeaquarium.org.
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