VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story hosted an annual illumination ceremony at the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse Nov. 30.
This year's event was open to the general public for the first time since it began 20 years ago and featured the presentation of more than 800 Christmas lights strung around the lighthouse.
Capt. Charles Stubbard, commanding officer of JEB Little Creek-Fort Story, presided over the ceremony and talked about what it means to him.
"I enjoy this event every year because it brings people together," said Stubbard. "I love seeing the smiles on people's faces when they are in the Christmas spirit. I like presiding over events like these because it gets me involved with the community."
Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms attended the event and spoke to the crowd about his appreciation for being the guest of honor.
"I am honored to be attending this event," said Sessoms. "Events like these strengthen the relationship between the military and civilian sectors. I respect what our men and women in uniform and their families do for us each and every day. This is a special time of year and we need to remember those who are deployed around the world and wish them happy holidays too."
The illumination of the lighthouse took place shortly after sunset with a countdown led by Stubbard.
"I think it was a successful event and everything went smoothly," said Mohr. "The turnout was great and I hope that we can do this again next year. I encourage people to visit the lighthouse on base and enjoy the beauty of this special monument."
Santa Claus arrived to kick off the event and have photos taken with children and a choir from Salem High School in Virginia Beach sang Christmas carols. Food and refreshments were available for purchase for the attendees and a band played holiday music.
For more news from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/jeblcfs/.