Luminaries to light up Basalt Yule Night | AspenTimes.com

Luminaries to light up Basalt Yule Night

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Downtown Basalt will be lit up with luminaries Friday night to kick off what organizers hope becomes a regular event.

About 300 luminaries, also known as farolitos or street lamps, will line Midland Avenue and Two Rivers Road, and residents and visitors are encouraged to check out the lights, hang out and have fun, said Diane Schwener, who organized the event along with Kathleen Cole. The luminaria night coincides with the Basalt Chamber of Commerce’s Yule Night, during which stores will stay open until 8 p.m. for shopping.

Schwener said Cole came up with the idea for the luminaries because they are such a cool holiday tradition in the Southwest. Basalt’s adaptation of that tradition is a direct result of recent meetings at which residents said they want more community-oriented events and gatherings downtown. Residents have to step up to create some of the community vitality they are seeking, she said.

“We’re not sitting around waiting for the town or the chamber to do anything,” said Schwener.

Three hundred luminaries ” with paper bags, sand and battery-powered candles ” were delivered Thursday. Businesses are urged to purchase a luminaria for $3 between noon and 3 p.m. at Town Hall. (They can be saved for re-use.) Schwener said a handful of town residents already have donated funds to help cover the costs and make sure the luminaries are placed downtown.

The official stroll time will be 5-8 p.m. Friday. Several small fires in outdoor cauldrons will also be lit to encourage people to join the event and hang out even past 8 p.m. Schwener said people should feel free to bring fixin’s for s’mores.

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The organizers hope to hold additional events featuring luminaries in both winter and summer to bring Basaltines together more often. “We really want to get some legs on this,” Schwener said.

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