Mt. Lookout’s Luminaria Event

Take note – Mt. Lookout’s 45th Annual Luminaria event will be on Sunday, December 15th, 2019! This annual tradition is made possible through the efforts of the Mt. Lookout Community Council and many community volunteers.

Luminaria is Mt. Lookout’s biggest fundraiser!  The Mt. Lookout Community Council is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from Luminaria kit sales are directly reinvested into our neighborhood in many ways, including beautification and maintenance of Mt. Lookout Square, including landscaping and seasonal flower pots, as well as the Mt. Lookout Fall Festival, Ault Park Fireworks support and more.

For $20 per kit, you will receive:

  • 24 white paper bags
  • 24 votive candles
  • Sand
  • Front-door delivery to your home

Luminaria kits are now on sale! This year, we are selling Luminaria kits online through PayPal. Simply click on the PayPal link below and your kit will be delivered to your door in early December. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase. Simply choose “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” at the bottom of the Paypal page after selecting the PayPal button.

Kits can also be purchased by completing a hardcopy order form and submitting it with your payment to your Luminaria Street Captain. Forms will be dropped off at your house by your Street Captain in the upcoming weeks. In case you lose yours, a pdf of the form can also be downloaded by clicking the button below.

Kits will be delivered to you approximately one week before the Luminaria event. A limited number of kits will also be available for purchase at local establishments including Keepsake Photography and Mt. Lookout Joe.



As part of our Luminaria festivities, the Mt. Lookout Business Association is once again hosting Light up Mt. Lookout Square! Partake in the holiday cheer as we mix and mingle with neighbors and enjoy hot chocolate and holiday cookies. You might even see a certain someone in a bright red suit . . . When you’ve had your fill in the Square, hop a free shuttle bus and tour the most festive streets in the neighborhood on your way to the Cincinnati Observatory, which will open its doors and telescopes to show off the luminaries of the night sky. Take some time to enjoy some live holiday music, taste a few more refreshments and browse the gift shop for unique holiday gifts. Bring the entire family along with your friends and neighbors — this is a great time to celebrate our wonderful community spirit and the holiday season!


Interested in helping out?  We have several opportunities for you:

Luminaria Street Captains – We are always looking for more Street Captains to help pass out order forms and tell their neighbors all about the event.  The job is easy – simply drop off Luminaria order forms at each house on your street in November, collect orders and payments, then pass out the kits once they are ready in early December.  That’s it!  If interested, please send an email to and give us your name, street and contact information.

Pack Day Volunteers – Saturday Dec. 7 is pack day! Starting at 8 a.m., we will be putting together all the kits that have been ordered. It may be cold, it may be wet, but it’s always fun, especially with a lot of hands helping out (not to mention the coffee and doughnuts that always seem to appear).  Last year, we packed over 800 kits and we are hoping to sell even more this year – so come on by!  (Location to be determined).

Cookie Bakers – Among the best things about Luminaria Night are the homemade holiday treats made by our friends and neighbors. If you love baking, please feel free to bake some goodies that we can share on the Square! Let us know if you have questions and/or want to coordinate cookie/goodie drop-offs by sending an email to



If it’s too rainy or windy on Burn Night, the Luminaria Event will be moved to Sunday, Dec. 22. Notices about the change will be posted by 5 p.m. on December 15th at key neighborhood intersections, on this website, on our Facebook page (@mtlookout), on Nextdoor and on the Community Council Infoline @ 513-723-5599.



Every year people ask – “How did Luminaria start in Mt. Lookout?”  Well now you have your answers…

Luminaria began out of necessity in 1975. The birth of Luminaria was due in part for the need to raise funds for a float to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976.  The Mt. Lookout Civic Club (now the Mt. Lookout Community Council) did not have the funds to pay for the tissue paper squares needed to stuff the chicken-wire frame float. Luckily for the Civic Club and following generations of Mt. Lookout residents, Mrs. Georgia McCartney recalled a Spanish custom adopted by an Arizona community she visited the previous year. The Spanish custom included lighting bonfires to guide the Christ Child into people’s homes during the  holiday season. The tradition has evolved into using paper bags with candles inside for the purpose of guiding guests to the household. Mr. Elmer Scherman, the first Luminaria Chairman, recalls that approximately 900 kits were sold that first year for $3.75 each. The holiday tradition has continued ever since.