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Results and lessons learned

Pictures by amateurs


Pictures by Cactus Pat, A semi-pro


A Librarian at the Kitchen Table
Luminaries: The Fifth Year of War in Iraq Begins. No. 448.


WCTV | Luminary Memorial Held On Fourth Anniversary Of Iraq War

On 3300+ Luminaries

Material and Labor Estimate for ~3300 Luminaries

Tom Baxter, VfP, Chapter #15, VVAW, Tallahassee


In the planning stages, we found no one that had done luminaries on this scale.

This is to provide guidance for future displays.

You need a few extra luminaries.

A local formerly active Marine wanted a blank to fill in for a former comrade in arms,
PFC Daniel B Chaires, RIP/KIA, 10OCT2006, Iraq.

One bag was burned and replaced.

Materials list

3300 each #6, #8 or #10 bleached white kraft bags @ ~$0.05 [online]

3300 each Tea candles @.~$0.10 [online]

35 bags sand 50# @~$4-5.00 [local]

100 cups per 50#, 1 cup of sand per luminary [local]

2 dozen 8 oz / .25 liter containers [tumblers] [local]
We had used larger plastic cups, marked at 1 cup, but then, thinking and judgment were required.


Lake Ella has an alleged .75 mile walkway around it.

5280 x .75 = 3960 = 1' centers nom.

Lake Ella has a walking course around it and is very public. Folks came up and asked what was going on and volunteered.


Supply Crew

~35 people took responsibility for writing names and ages on 100 each kraft bags and bring them and a 50# bag of sand to the marshaling point.

Options included after naming, putting a cup of sand per bag, putting four or five stacked, and boxed.


Filling Crew 12

At the marshaling point ~12 folks started scooping a level cupful into each bag.

One stacker serving several fillers, by taking bags away and prepping/boxing for placing.
Filled bags stack nicely five deep into boxes or wheel barrows.

Placing Crew 12

1}Carrying and placing filled/boxed bags on nominal 1' centers. They were placed on about 1'2" centers.

Some folks hauled bags out the placers and some just placed.

We had enough to encircle the lake and to run out on both sides of the sidewalk to a on a spit of land to a gazebo in the center of the lake. We also had enough for a ~20 round Peace Symbol.

2}Placing a candle in each bag, straightening the bag and candle wick.

I found it's easier to have one person with a bag of candles, pulling them out one at a time straightening the wick, and handing it to the placer, who put it in the luminary.

These tasks were started ~2:00 and completed at 4:30.

Lighting Crew ~20

Started @ 6:00. Done by 6:30.

Use long nose lighters.

Cleanup Crew 12

Started at ~9. 12 people. Sand was dumped on the ground. Candles and paper placed in garbage bags. Done by ~10:30.

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