Leesburg Luminaria returns to downtown


The Leesburg Lions Club is scheduled to bring back one of its most popular events, the Leesburg Luminaria, on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Jay Newland, president of the Leesburg Lions Club, said this year’s event will bring back many of the Luminaria’s different activities.

She said many of the businesses and some of the churches in the downtown area will have open houses for people to “basically” visit, with treats, cookies, popcorn and drinks available to patrons.

Newland also said Santa Claus will visit the Leesburg firehouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“And I understand the Grinch is gonna show up this year,” she said. “Which would be a first for us.”

She also said the Leesburg firehouse will host a soup supper event from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a freewill donation the only cost. She said last year was the first time the event was done and they plan to bring it back this year.

Another attraction is wagon rides around the downtown area, held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. She said the rides see kids being taken around to see the decorations and lights in Leesburg with an antique buggy pulled by an antique tractor. She said the place where wagons are being loaded and unloaded was changed this year and will take place at a lodge or alley near Southern Hills Community Bank.

Newland said the location where many of the activities previously took place, Square 1 Heating and Cooling, did some large renovations and wasn’t available this year.

Newland then said the event concludes with a community church service held at the Leesburg Church of Christ at 7:30 p.m. She said the different churches in Leesburg have been switching hosting the event year after year.

For the lighting of the candles, Newland said the luminary kits are available at Saucy Sisters Pizza. The kits include 20 white bags, 20 candles and sand for the bags to hold up the candles.

“It’s really kind of a hometown thing and the kids essays share what their feeling is or what they get from doing this. They look forward to it. They take away what it means to them … It’s a way of bringing the community together and you get a chance to see people that maybe you don’t get ‘em around except in passing like meeting in Walmart or something.”

Another aspect of the event is the essay contest, which sees the sixth-grade students write essays anonymously on what the Leesburg Luminaria means to them. Then, the Fairfield High School senior class votes on the essays and picks the winners.

Newland said there are many people involved in making the event happen, but one person she specifically wanted to mention was Kim Pavey of Saucy Sisters Pizza who has been a “tremendous help.”

She said COVID-19 “kind of” diminished the numbers of the Leesburg Lions Club, as some of its more prominent members passed away. She said Pavey isn’t a Lions Club member but has worked with people in the community and businesses.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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