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In the mid 1990s, locals began to organize events at the lightstation to draw attention to the site after rumors circulated that most lighthouses in North America would be decommissioned. With a spirited community and the Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society, the lightstation was saved and continues to open each summer, hosting exciting, fun events for all to enjoy. Today, events at the light continue to draw crowds of people of all ages. For up-to-the-minute event information, visit our Facebook page.

Third annual July 1st 2018 Concert at Cape Forchu Lightstation

Groomsmen Ladies Society Wedding Party

Dumping Day

Dumping Day is the opening of the lobster fishery season in Southwest Nova Scotia. This year, it is scheduled for the last Monday of November. At daybreak, captains and their crews will depart their wharves and "dump" their traps in search of the most prosperous and lucrative lobster fishing grounds in their district. South West Nova Scotia is known worldwide for its catches and the quality of its lobster. For this reason, fishermen choose to venture the volatile seas year after year in hopes of making the big bucks. For some, they have been fishing all their lives, the trade passed on from generation to generation. For many other crew members, this will be their first time. Whether new at their career or a seasoned vet, insomnia and uneasiness is part of the game.

The season lasts six months and starts every year on the last Monday in November. However, the work begins long before opening day. Captains and their crews must ensure that their boats and gear are in top condition to withstand the unpredictable winter weather and the load of lobster pots tiered from the wheelhouse to the stern. Despite all efforts to be safe, it's risky work, especially on dumping day as they unload their 375 pots. The eve of dumping day is a sleepless one for many, including family and friends.

In the mid 1990s, Nancy Knowles of the Yarmouth Light Society was appointed by the YCTA (Yarmouth County Tourist Association) to lead a steering committee to host an event at the Cape Forchu Lightstation honouring the lobster fishermen of the area. This dumping day event was a perfect way to raise interest in the lighthouse as a symbol of safety at sea. Approximately 20 people attended the first event and the tradition of Dumping Day at the Cape Forchu Lightstation was born.

Boats Lobster Fishermen Lobster Traps

Local businesses donated coffee, tea, and donuts to the committee for the family and friends of the fishermen, who came out in the November cold to wish their loved ones a safe and prosperous season. The Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society continue the tradition year after year and attendance continues to grow. In 2006, with the addition of the Mug Up Tea Room in the lightkeeper's original dining room and an on-site manager, the event grew even larger.

In the tea room, a continental buffet was served that included warm, homemade bread pudding with caramel sauce, homemade biscuits and preserves, assorted muffins, a basket of red delicious apples, and coffee and tea. People began arriving at 4:30 a.m. and by 6:00 a.m., 200-250 people had arrived to watch this parade of lights at sea as the boats set out in search of the best fishing grounds.

As the people gathered on site, Roger Nickerson, a local retired lobster fisherman, prepared to deliver a blessing of the fleet at 5:45 a.m. It was heard by both guests and fishermen alike. Through a portable VHS, he was able to reach the fishermen on their boats as they steamed to the end of the Cape. CJLS, the local radio station, broadcasted live from the lighthouse to cover this memorable day.

At exactly 6:00 a.m., as the boats began to steam out, onlookers shone their flashlights and head lights in a show of support. Some of the boats replied with their own flashing lights. As many bowed their heads in prayer, the boats disappeared over the horizon.

The tradition continues, and on each Dumping Day the Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society and staff invite the public to come and watch the boats as they leave the harbour at 6:00 a.m. sharp. Together, we bless the fleet as they depart in search of the Canada's most valuable seafood.

Boats at Night Lighthouse at Night Lobster Boats