Washington Park Luminaria Dec. 9

The holidays are just about here and with that comes a slew of holiday-related activities. Let me tempt you with one: The Washington Park Luminaria.

Started as a response to the violence that rocked Over-the-Rhine in April 2001, the Luminaria is a way to bring the Greater Cincinnati community together in an arms-open way during the most peaceful season of the year. It happens in Washington Park, Cincinnati’s long-neglected gem of a city park right in the middle of – gasp! – the city.

I have a few photos of last year’s event in the photo section of my Web site, but rest assured that it is one of the neatest, nicest ways to celebrate the season. The event, sponsored by iRhine, is planned to be even more spectacular than in year’s past. Bigger choirs, more choirs, holiday music, candle-lit paths, Mayor Mark Mallory, Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell and his nifty harmonica,

Washington Park Luminaria - Dec. 10, 2005

hot drinks, holiday foods and a cross-section of this fabulous city.

Luminaria is from 5 to 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 9 in Washington Park, between 12th and 14th, Elm and Race streets in Over-the-Rhine, just across from both Memorial Hall and Music Hall.

In fact, there’s an 8 p.m. Cincinnati Pops Orchestra concert, “Happy Holidays from the Pops,” right at Music Hall. You could start your evening in The Park and head over to The Hall later.

That evening, I will also have an open house at my place. I recently moved to a more suitably-sized apartment in the same building, Park Hall, one that overlooks the park. My place will be open during Luminaria so you can warm-up and I will be hosting guests and celebrating throughout the evening. Also, others in my building will also be opening their homes. So, if you can’t make it early, stop by later.

More details on everything – from Luminaria to the open house – coming soon. If you have questions, please use the “Contact Joe” form and send me a message. Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving!

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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