I’ve always enjoyed this project and loved putting it together with good friends and neighbors. Some years the result has been spectacular. However, the wind and dry weather conditions of Christmas Eve 2019 were not in our favor. A fire erupted on the south end of the Coleman loop. Residents spent hours in vain trying to light the candles on the Trafficway. Out of precaution, my brother Jim Baggett and I walked the neighborhood putting out candles in luminarias near cars and those that had been placed in piles of leaves.
The cost of doing this project has escalated, and we should consider some changes. Options range from not placing luminarias and using the funds for other neighborhood activities, to reducing the locations of luminarias, to investing in LED lights at a higher cost but reduced risk and environmental impact. The luminaria project has resulted in a beautiful statement from our neighborhood. However, the thought of this project starting a fire that could result in serious damage removes some of the luster for the evening.
Editor’s note: George Baggett has graciously spearheaded this customary event for many years. His heart is still in it, but he’s interested in teaching another Coleman Highlander the details to keep the tradition going forward. Are you interested in leading this tradition? Contact George or a CHNA Board member.