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THANKSGIVING TRADITIONS: Ptown Tower Lighting

- Lindsay

We all know the story about the first Thanksgiving: Pilgrims landing in Massachusetts, the kind Native Americans…you all know the rest. We also know about all the stress of getting ready for our own Turkey Day traditions: the cooking days in advance, the cleaning to make our homes presentable to company, dusting our “good” (read: unbroken) dishes. It can all be quite stressful.

What if there was some way to get away from it all just a day before Thanksgiving – as in, one last party before the turkey is carved? What if it was all in celebration of the very day we’re about to celebrate, on the very site where the Pilgrims first landed? Well, then have I got some good news for you: the annual Pilgrim’s Tower lighting in Provincetown, Cape Cod, is exactly that!

Now, I can read your mind. You’re thinking “What the heck is a tower lighting? Some kind of messed up Rockefeller Center tree lighting?” Well, almost. Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, the folks at the Pilgrim Tower and Provincetown Museum non-profit organization shine lights on to the Provincetown Tower and into the sky, celebrating that the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown, in Cape Cod.

Now my amazing mind-reading super-powers are telling me that you don’t know what the Provincetown Tower is. In a nutshell, it is a tower that was built in 1892 to honor the Pilgrims, who actually first landed in Cape Cod before sailing on and settling in Plymouth on the mainland. The Tower is completely made of granite and stands 77 meters tall—yikes! You can climb to the top of the tower in about 10-15 minutes (AWESOME workout!), but the view at the top will definitely keep you there for longer. Bring your camera if you’re brave enough to look down!

So as you can tell, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to illuminate this breathtaking structure than Thanksgiving. The tower then stays illuminated through January 6, 2012. To do your part in keeping it lit, you can go to www.pilgrim-moument.org to donate your choice of amount; enough to keep it lit for two hours, one evening, one weekend, etc. After all, what would Thanks”giving” be without ‘giving’?

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we could all use a break from all the holiday stress, right? Well, the tower lighting provides the perfect pre-holiday break before having to deal with—I mean ENJOY—your family the next day. With entertainment and some refreshments all opening at 5 PM and of course the illumination of the tower at 6, it’s a relaxing and fun evening.

And have no fear of mischievous turkey-devouring hounds! There are always plenty of PTown restaurants and shops open over Thanksgiving Day and weekend in case of ‘extreme circumstances’ in your home. There are also a bunch of hotels and inns open in Provincetown if you’re visiting family, just coming for the tower lighting, or if you live there and your house burns down, or if you’re a lonely hobo who decided to treat yourself to a nice, warm, classy room for a night as a holiday treat (….hopefully neither of the last two). Go to www.ptownchamber.com for more details about restaurants, hotels and shopping. PTown is known for its very cool shops – it’s a great place to buy friends and family very unique holiday gifts.

Anyway, the Provincetown Tower Lighting is a fun event and a spectacular tribute to the history of our country. Not to mention the extremely interesting and informative Pilgrim Museum also onsite. So hope to see you there, and happy Turkey Day! For more info go to: www.ptownchamber.com

 

 

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