Luminaria Night started in 1998 in the neighborhood west of Linden Street and north of Johnston Drive when three neighbors wanted to recreate the tradition of connecting homes with the light of candles in bags at the holiday season. In order to determine an interest in participating, they sent out an informational letter to about sixty homes, explaining the nature of the event and the cost of luminaria kits. Through the sale of kits, they raised $300 that first year, all of which was donated to a family in need. In the early years of the event, several different charities benefited from Luminaria Night. Among them was New Bethany Ministries, which provides meals, financial services, and housing to poor, hungry, mentally disabled individuals and homeless families in the Lehigh Valley. Because the founders of the event were so impressed with the outreach of New Bethany, they decided to affiliate themselves permanently in 2003. Since then, Luminaria Night has grown every year, adding new neighborhoods, block captains, and regional captains each year. In 2011, we lit up over 3,200 homes and businesses with 7,600 kits (76,000 candles), raising $72,000.
From a desire to connect with neighbors and light up a small neighborhood at the holidays, Luminaria Night has grown to a valley-wide collaboration illuminating many neighborhoods in a beautiful evening of light and giving. If you have been with us from the beginning, we thank you for your on-going support.