The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is just one of many buildings bathed in sapphire in salute to the medical and frontline COVID-19 workers. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

On Thursday, May 14, several Santa Barbara buildings will become beacons of blue light in visual support of COVID-19 frontline workers. “#LightItBlue,” as the movement is called, began in the U.K. on March 26 with the illumination of landmarks and historical buildings in recognition of the health-care providers who were thrust onto the frontlines of the pandemic battlefield. Other countries quickly followed suit, lighting up hundreds of buildings, bridges, entertainment halls, and landmarks, not only in honor of the frontline medical staff but also the grocery stores employees and other essential workers and businesses.

Santa Barbara will get a blue hue at 8 p.m. when the Arlington tower, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, Lobero Theater, Cottage Hospital sites, and the Mission Tower are simultaneously bathed in sapphire. “We are so honored to participate in this important moment of recognition and appreciation,” said Luke J. Swetland, SBMNH president and CEO. “The Sea Center floats magically above our beautiful, blue Channel. Bathing it in calming light is a wonderful way to show our community’s love and support for those who are taking care of the most fragile among us.”

The aforementioned locations will remain blue for a few evening hours through the month of May, with other sites joining the campaign in the upcoming days. Sites have been carefully chosen, said the city’s Nina Johnson, “so that the community can enjoy them from a safe distance.” For more information, see

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