Friday, December 8, 2006

Neighborhood comes together over luminarias

Grassroots project will aid Blaine County Hunger Coalition

Express Staff Writer

In the Northridge neighborhood in northern Hailey, Lee Dabney's efforts to create some additional Christmas cheer is lighting the way for others.

Last year, she began an effort that will continue this holiday season, making it officially the second annual Northridge Luminaria street party. The event has grown and now includes all of Heroic, Kintail Northridge and Meadow drives. The candles will be lit at approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 20.

Dabney, who has lived for a decade in Northridge with her husband, Tom Dabney, and son, Nate, will donate the proceeds—which comes out to approximately 75 cents on every dollar—to the Blaine County Hunger Coalition.

It's been a really unifying thing for the neighborhood," she said. "We got a good deal this year on the luminarias because we sold so many last year."

Brought from Spain to Mexico, the tradition of lighting luminarias was originated in the 16th century by Franciscan monks. Called farolitos, they were set alongside roads and churchyards to guide people to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. This custom then traveled northward into what became New Mexico.

Many of those who participated last year have split up the neighborhood and are going door to door this year, lightening Dabney's load a bit.

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