Festival of Lights: View Luminaries display on December 2

Submitted by Carol Bunning

Member of SBCMA and

Director of Zion Lutheran Choir

In 1991, the South Brown County Ministerial Association began a project during the Christmas season to bring the story of Christ’s life to this area. What was begun as a one-year experiment was so well received that it has continued and is now in its 28th year.

This year, the Luminaries — the Festival of Lights — will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, or later into the evening if cars are still going through the display.

The Luminaries stem from an old Spanish custom of putting candles in paper bags weighted with sand. The candles are lit and put along the path to one’s home on Christmas Eve to light the way for the Christ Child to come into the home and into the lives of the people who live there.

In Horton, 1,300 candles light the 10-block route, which will have 17 living tableaus of representative times in the life of Christ. The people of area churches dress in Biblical clothes and form still pictures (tableaus) from the prophecy in Isaiah about the coming of Christ, to His Crucifixion and, ultimately, His Ascension into Heaven. Colorful costumes, music, backdrops designed by the churches, and even live animals are part of the scenes along the way.

The city of Horton turns off the street lights in this area so that the luminaries are even more pronounced. It is a beautiful, peaceful display, which people can enjoy from the comfort and privacy of their own vehicles. If people don’t wish to drive, they may board a free shuttle at Jim’s Thriftway, 240 East 15th in Horton, which will take them through the Luminaries. For those who drive, the route begins at 14th and Central and ends at 14th and First Avenue East. A route guide that indicates all of the scenes will be handed out at the beginning of the drive. The drive itself will take approximately 5 to 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

The Ministerial Association asks that you remain in your vehicles, because people who are walking can be a distraction to those who are driving. Also, because the lights are low, uneven places in the sidewalks may not be seen as well and there could be a danger of falling.

The churches in the South Brown County Ministerial Association are First Baptist of Horton, First Christian of Horton, First United Methodist of Horton, St. Leo’s Catholic of Horton, the United Church of Muscotah, Everest Christian, and Zion Lutheran of Everest. President of the Association is Dr. Ronald Lee Cobb of the First Christian Church of Horton.

Come and enjoy this beautiful event as we prepare our hearts for the Christmas season.

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