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Snow or no, annual Florence Luminaria celebration will deliver warm holiday glow to downtown Saturday evening

— Regardless of what the thermometer says Saturday night, downtown Florence will be a bit warmer than average.

The 11th annual Florence Luminary celebration will brings a holiday glow to the village starting around 6 p.m.

The luminary bags are available at shops throughout downtown said committee chairman Robert Ross, and will be set up and lit all along Park Street, beginning at the Florence Civic Center.

Ross, a former president of the Florence Civic and Business Association, which sponsors the event, said in addition to the hundreds of luminary candles expected to line the streets, Florence’s holiday light display is up and a bonfire will be burning outside the Civic Center.

“I think we have a good sense of community in Florence, and excellent community spirit,” Ross said when asked what’s kept the event going and popular for over a decade.

Luminary kits are available at Florence Barber Shop, Doyle’s Package Store, Florence Hardware, Cooper’s Corner, Florence Village Florists, and Murduff’s at a cost of $10 for a box of 10.

Anyone who would like to get involved and can’t display luminaries at their own home or business may purchase candles to be lit in the public parks and spaces such as Trinity Row Park, The Stanley Kolodzinski Memorial Park, and Sojourner Truth Park, Ross said.

In addition to the lights, candles, and fire, a dessert buffet, hay rides along Park Street, and live music from the Paul Collins Quintet are also scheduled.

“Lively conversation and many laughs,” are also expected, according to Ross.

The luminaries will be set up all through downtown, but the events will be centered in and around the civic center at 890 Park St., Ross said.

The event is scheduled from 6 to midnight and is free and open to the public.

All proceeds of this event will benefit the ongoing renovations of the Florence Civic Center.

For more information or to volunteer, call (413) 320-2306.

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