A holiday tradition that goes back over three decades, the Limestone Luminaries are set to return to the University on Saturday, Dec. 10, as part of “Christmas On Campus” that will also bring music, ice skating, Christmas carols, and more to campus.
This year’s luminaries on December 10, which will begin to be lit at 4 p.m., will be placed on the front campus and other areas near the University including portions of College Drive, S. Limestone Street, E. Rutledge Avenue, South Petty Street, Laurel Street, Griffith Street, Hetty Hill Street, Quarry Drive, and O’Neal Street.
In what would have been the 37th annual Limestone Luminaries, the “Christmas On Campus” event was unable to take place in 2021 due to inclement weather. The coronavirus pandemic forced the luminaries to be cancelled the year prior because of related changes to the academic calendar that resulted in students not being on campus to make them possible.
“After a two-year absence, we are so excited that the tradition of the Limestone Luminaries will be back as we celebrate the Christmas season at our University,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “We appreciate all of the local residents who come out year after year during the holiday season to enjoy the luminaries. We are looking forward to another wonderful ‘Christmas On Campus’ with all of the new and fun activities we have planned during the afternoon and evening. This year’s luminaries event, weather permitting, will be even more special for Limestone because it will the first one possible since our status change from a college to a university that took place in 2020.”
Organized by the Department of Athletics, hundreds of students will begin preparing the luminaries starting at 10 a.m.
A music recital will be held inside Fullerton Auditorium from 4:15 p.m. until 4:45 p.m. New to the event this year, a portable ice-skating rink will open at 5 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. There will also be cookies and beverages, inflatable games, and other outside festivities.
From 5 p.m. until 5:45 p.m., a Steel Pan Drum Concert will be held outside, and that will be followed by Christmas carols until 6 p.m.
Parker will flip the switch for the official lighting of the Limestone Christmas Tree at 6 p.m., and that will be followed by a Saxophone ensemble performance beginning at 6:15 p.m. Christmas music will then be featured until the event concludes at 9 p.m.
The public is invited to attend “Christmas On Campus” and all activities are free of charge.
Although the luminaries were cancelled several days later due to rain, Limestone welcomed the Christmas season to campus on December 5 last year with a choral concert at Fullerton Auditorium.
The tradition of the local luminaries dates back to 1984 when the late Les Gregory, a former Limestone staff member and graduate, arranged for 200 luminaries to be lit in honor of retired professor Lucy G. Wheeler. Since Gregory's inception, the luminaries have grown to over 10,000 candles and the event has grown into one of the most anticipated nights of the year at Limestone.
Accompanying Photo: Luminaries from 2019 at Limestone.