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Luminaria Shine On Thursday

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Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:00 am

It’s that time of year again, when the neighbors at Tremont Terrace gather together to light 400 luminaries which line the entire drive on Christmas Eve.

The following excerpt was taken from an article published by The Journal in 1978, giving the history of this wonderful tradition.

“Luminaria used to light Christ’s way on Christmas Eve in an age-old custom begun in a colony along the Rio Grande River in Mexico; the custom has become a popular one in many villages and sections of cities all over the United States. Some towns, like one in Florida, observe the custom on all village sidewalks.

Luminaria, meaning little fires, were once small piles of burning pinon wood, but today’s modern version uses candles placed inside brown bags with sand added to the bag for weight and to hold the candle erect. The custom was first brought to Hillsboro by Mr. and Mrs. Hank Peters; they encouraged neighbors on Tilson Place to share the light display. In 1973, the idea was taken up by Mrs. Burch (Mary) Borror on Tremont Terrace and the custom has been honored each year since then.”

There have been families since the Borrors that have taken up the organization of the Christmas Eve display. Paul and Barb Tomazzoli took care of the details for a number of years, and then Herman and Billie Green with John Dalpozzo.

This 37-year-old tradition continues again this year, with the donations of sand and paper bags from some generous Hillsboro residents. The luminaries will be up and burning at 5 p.m. for cars to drive through the circle. The residents encourage those driving to turn off their lights to take full advantage of the flickering flames.

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