Tour the lighthouse, party at the festival

Join the five thousand people heading out to the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival this weekend.
John Benson
Oct 8, 2013
The Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival boasts a cornucopia of diverse events and attractions that should appeal to all family members.
On average, roughly 5,000 people attend the day-long affair, which boasts tours of the Marblehead Lighthouse/Keeper’s House, an arts and crafts show, live entertainment, a farmer’s market, corn hole, pumpkin decorating contest, sail boat rides, hayrides and more. 
We talked to Lakeside Chautauqua Programming Vice President Shirley Stary about the annual Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival.
First of all, with so many different attractions, what’s the spirit of the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival?
The general idea is to bring people back to Lakeside in the fall and bring in the local community. A lot of our summer guests are from one to three hours away, so this is a great day to bring them back and see everybody and kind of reconnect. And hopefully it’ll happen on a gorgeous fall day.
How did the merging of the Marblehead Lighthouse Festival with the Lakeside event happen?
That took place six or seven years ago. The Lighthouse Festival Committee couldn’t afford to keep it up, and we were doing it on the same weekend anyway. So we were thinking if people came to the Lighthouse Festival, then they’ll stop by and come into Lakeside. That’s when we changed it to the new name, which is incredibly long but at least it gets the points across.
How has the event grown over the years?
The volume of people is the biggest thing. We just see more and more people coming and also in quality of crafters. We really see a better caliber of who is displaying work. It’s a sought-after show, and I think it always has been. What’s amazing is that more than 5,000 people come out for the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival. It’s a lot of people. The streets are packed. It feels like a summer weekend. That’s what’s so exciting about it. Some people asked for it to be a two-day event, but we feel it’s really solid for a one-day event. 
For those folks who have never attended the event, what are they missing?
Typically on a beautiful day, you just can’t beat Lakeside in the fall.
The free Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 12 at Lakeside and throughout the Marblehead peninsula. 
For more information, call 419-798-4461 or visit