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Four Norwalk Entries among Winners in Annual Lighthouse Contest at Norwalk Aquarium

5th Place: Jeff, Suzanne and Veronica Bosco of Norwalk pose with “Shark Way." Contributed photo.
5th Place: Jeff, Suzanne and Veronica Bosco of Norwalk pose with “Shark Way." Contributed photo.
Norwalk residents took home four of the top six prizes in the recent “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Lighthouses by Jo Stecker, Jason Larche, Suzanne and Jeff Bosco, and Billy Ensign were among the winners in the 12th. The contest ran from Nov. 16 to Jan. 20 and featured 22 large model lighthouses built by local artists, students and hobbyists. Winners were chosen by Aquarium visitors, who enjoyed the lighthouses in the aquarium galleries and then voted for their favorite. Nearly 10,300 votes were tallied from this most recent display, which – as always – attracted a collection of widely creative works.

“Once again, we were able to offer Aquarium visitors a fun and creative holiday display, all thanks to the thought and effort that our contestants put into their lighthouses,” said Chris Loynd, marketing director. “For that, we are very honored and grateful.”

The contest’s $1,500 first-place winner was David Bishop of Stamford for his entry, “Hard-A-Lee.” It’s the second consecutive win for Bishop, who is a woodworker with a studio in West Haven.

Donna Kern Ball of Newtown won $750 for second place, for her “Twinkie, Twinkie, Little Lighthouse,” a beacon decorated with Twinkies®, Ho Hos® and other Hostess snack cakes.

Stecker won $375 for third place. (Her entry in 2012-13 took second place.) Her prize-winner this year, “Lighthouse Inn & Tavern,” is a fully furnished dollhouse destination. The green-and-white-striped lighthouse is almost secondary to all the action on the inn’s waterfront deck – with guests playing games, fishing, sunbathing, grilling and picnicking. Each room inside the shingled inn is fully imagined, down to the guests’ flip-flops on the floor and dishes in the sink.

Larche’s “Le Tour Larche,” which earned $300 for fourth place, is an intricate structure that suggests two levels of masonry rock in its base, supporting two wooden levels above. Each level has doors and/or windows. In addition to the crowning light of the lighthouse, the upper-level windows flicker with an orange glow, suggesting a fireplace inside. The lighthouse sits atop a verdant rocky hillside.

Fifth place ended in a tie, so the Boscos and Ensign split the $375 in total prize money meant for fifth and sixth place.

The Boscos’ “Shark Way” is a white column lighthouse topped by a red lantern. Windows trace the imagined stairway inside. It stands on a rock base against a turbulent blue sea, all of which sits atop a home aquarium tank that the Boscos decorated inside and out with colorful aquatic plants and several prowling sharks.

Ensign’s “Keeper of Dreams,” made entirely of gingerbread and frosting, lent a heavenly holiday aroma to the Aquarium. The tall tapering lighthouse, built to appear to be made from bricks of gingerbread, is topped by a light that looks like an ice-cream cookie sandwich. White-frosting snow covers the lighthouse island, which is populated by gingerbread people, dogs, cats, seals and dolphins.

Photos of all the winners can be seen at ww.flickr.com/photos/Maritimeaquarium.

Entry forms for the 2014 “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” will be available on the Aquarium’s website this summer.

For more information about The Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, IMAX movies, programs or other offerings, go to www.MaritimeAquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700.

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