light up wyoming is a longstanding tradition in the City of Wyoming to show spirit during the holiday season. On a single Saturday night in December, coinciding with the City's holiday celebration at Village Green, residents place luminaries along the front of their property, hoping to create an “unbroken circle of light” throughout the community.
Light Up Wyoming is one of the primary fundraisers for the JWC of Wyoming. The luminaries, along with the festivities downtown, make our city look like a Hallmark holiday movie.
How did Light Up begin? Thanks to the Wyoming Historical Society, we were able to learn more about its humble beginnings. An article entitled “Birth of a Wyoming Tradition” in the November 1985 issue of Wyoming Living announced the launch of the event, which began as Project Luminaria: Light Up a Life with JWC. Residents were asked to purchase a luminary kit, with all proceeds benefiting the Cincinnati Dreams Come True organization, which brings to life the wishes of children with severe medical needs.
Marty Neumeister, who was JWC President at the time, says homeowners in the village loved the idea. It benefited local children, which was wonderful, but it also became an opportunity for them to show off their historical homes.
In a letter written to JWC, Mayor David J. Savage said, “Events such as this not only raise money for good causes, but also help create a spirit within the community that adds to the quality of life in our city.”
Light Up Wyoming has evolved over the years, but the goals are still the same: to bring the community together and raise funds for a good cause.
The advice for lighting the luminaries is also the same. Neumeister remembers rolling down the tops of the bags and placing them on pieces of foil, which made cleanup easier. It also helped to prepare the bags indoors and pre-light the candles to have a wick.
JWC is excited to present the 36th annual Light Up Wyoming on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 6-8 p.m. All proceeds JWC earns from kit sales will benefit local nonprofit organizations, such as wyoming fine arts center, wyoming firefighters Association, and Valley Interfaith.
You can purchase your Light Up luminary kits:
- Online – https://jwc-wyoming.org/light-up/
- By mail – Residents should have received JWC's flyer on your doorstep
- In person – Dec. 3 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Dec. 4 (12 p.m.-4 p.m.) at the High School Tennis Courts or Dec. 10 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the civic center
Also on Dec. 10, the City is hosting its Annual Holiday Celebration. Residents can enjoy family-friendly activities and entertainment on the Village Green, including visits with Santa, coffee/hot chocolate, crafts from the Wyoming Fine Arts Center, live reindeer, carriage rides, train rides for the kids, and much more!
Deck the Homes, our community's holiday decorating contest, will also be on full display. Residents who enter can win Best Street, Most Traditional, or Most Outlandish. Submissions for Deck the Homes are due Dec. 9 and voting will be open Dec. 10-17.
What they said in Wyoming Living in 1985 still holds true today: “To make this a community event, Wyoming residents are asked to set the luminaries along their driveways, sidewalks, and yards. JWC will decorate public spaces with these lights. Join in and illuminate Wyoming.”