Lumanaria to light up Marion for July Fourth weekend

Jun 19, 2022

MARION — Marion will be illuminated by more than just fireworks this Fourth of July weekend.

Driveways, front porches and even boat docks will shine brightly with luminaria, thanks to a fund-raiser by The Sippican Woman’s Club.

For the second year, the club is selling luminaria kits, which include nine bags with star-shaped cutouts, nine battery-operated tea lights and instructions on how to put together the luminaria. Small bags are also provided for residents to place water or sand to keep the bags anchored.

The tea lights illuminate the star shapes, creating a decorative element to the weekend.

Residents are encouraged to display them on their property to brighten spirits and reflect pride for the country as America celebrates its independence. 

The luminaria sale replaced the club’s traditional holiday house tour, which was canceled due to covid concerns. 

The club opted for the luminaria instead, hosting its inaugural event last year. Carolyn Kenney, the club’s vice president of fundraising,  described the end result as “magical.’’

“The entire village of Marion was lit up,’’ she said. 

“They’re very pretty at night,’’ said club historian Jeanne Bruen.

Luminaria could be seen throughout town. In addition to residents displaying them at their homes, students from Old Rochester Regional High School helped club members place them on public locations such as Town Hall, along Route 6 and in pocket parks.

As befits a waterfront community, residents also displayed the lights on their docks. “The support has just been overwhelming,’’ Kenney said. 

The tea light’s batteries typically last at least 24 hours, which should allow residents to display them from July 3 to July 5, Kenney said.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarships, which the club members described as integral to their purpose.

The scholarships, which are awarded to students selected by the scholarship committee based on specific criteria, allow the recipients “to go to the next level academically,’’ Kenney said.

The awards also serve as a reminder to students that the community supports them as they prepare for their futures, club members said. Support from residents reflects their support for education, Bruen said.

During the pandemic years, these scholarships have been especially helpful, Kenney said, because some students were unable to work or otherwise save money as options were limited during the shutdown.

Recipients have thanked the club, Kenney noted, and said that “honestly, this really, really helped.’’

Students can also reapply for the scholarships as they progress through their academic careers. In addition to providing financial support, these additional scholarships, which are provided to students under certain circumstances, “keep them engaged’’ with the community and the club, Bruen said.

The effort brings to light the theme of the luminaria project: Illuminate to Educate.

lluminaria kits may be purchased with cash or checks only at Kate’s Simple Eats, Marion General Store, Mimis gift shop and Uncle Jon’s Coffee. Pop-up sales are also scheduled at Handy’s Tavern, 152 Front St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday June 24 and 25. Cash, checks and major credit cards are accepted.