Pamela Setchell, president of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, says they're expecting a large crowd at the Huntington Lighthouse Musicfest on Sept. 3. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

The Huntington Lighthouse MusicFest fundraiser — believed to be the only such festival held on top of a working lighthouse — will be held Saturday in an effort to restore the historic maritime icon.

 The event is held every Labor Day weekend and attracts boaters, kayakers and music enthusiasts from across Long Island and beyond.

The fundraiser, which goes from 11 a.m. to dusk in Huntington Bay,  helps the society continue its critical preservation and education work, said Pamela Setchell, president of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society Inc. She said no other music festival takes place in such a setting, in the middle of water.

“Money collected will help us complete Phase 1 construction, including completion of masonry work,” said Setchell. “We are hoping to soon begin Phase 2 projects, which include new windows and restoration of all the metal parts, including the metal cupula roof.”

In 2021, the MusicFest raised $52,000, she said.   

This year’s lineup of bands will play tunes ranging from country, reggae, and rock to Motown. During the festival, the Teens on the Water group will travel from boat to boat, selling T-shirts and collecting donations. Donations are also being accepted online. 

A no-wake zone has been designated to help keep the waters around the lighthouse calm for participants, Setchell said, meaning that watercraft must slow to 5 mph or less when traveling through. Town of Huntington Bay constables, Coast Guard auxiliary, Coast Guard and the Suffolk County police marine bureau will assist.

The lighthouse was built in 1912 and sits at the entrance to Huntington and Lloyd harbors. It rises 42 feet above the water, marking dangerous rocks and helping to navigate boat traffic, lighthouse officials said. It is the first concrete lighthouse structure on the East Coast, built in the Venetian Renaissance style, lighthouse officials said.

It was added to the National Register for Historic Buildings in 1989. The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc., a volunteer nonprofit, was granted ownership of the lighthouse in 2012. 

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