Mt. Lookout’s Luminaria Event

Sunday, December 15th, 2019, will mark the 45th year for Mt. Lookout’s holiday season Luminaria event. This annual tradition is made possible through the efforts of the Mt. Lookout Community Council and many community volunteers. Proceeds from Luminaria kit sales are reinvested into our neighborhood in many ways, including square beautification (landscaping, seasonal flower pots, maintenance and more), the Fall Festival other and community events.



As part of our growing Luminaria festivities, fun abounds in the Square thanks to our Business Association’s Light up Mt. Lookout Square! Partake in the holiday cheer as you mix and mingle with your neighbors and enjoy some hot chocolate and holiday cookies.  And who knows?  You might even see a certain someone in a bright red suit . . . When you’ve had your fill, a free shuttle bus will take you and your family on a tour of the most festive streets in the neighborhood and to the Cincinnati Observatory which opens its doors and telescopes to show off luminaries in the night sky. Take a few moments to listen to live holiday music, enjoy more light refreshments and browse the gift shop for some 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 kickoff the holiday season!



This year, we will once again be selling Luminaria kits online through PayPal, starting in October. Kits can also be purchased by completing an order form that will be dropped off by your street captain in late October (a pdf of this form is also provided in the green box below).  For $20 per kit, you will receive:

24 Candles
24 Paper Bags

Kits will be delivered to your house approximately one week before the Luminaria event. A limited number of kits will also be available for purchase at local establishments.



Thank you to all the volunteers who helped pack over 800 kits last year. We are hoping to sell even more kits this year and WE WILL NEED VOLUNTEERS!!!

Packing starts at 8am and coffee and donuts will be supplied. It may be cold, it may be wet, but the more, the merrier – and the shorter it will take! And, it’s always a lot of fun. Hope you can join us and lend a hand! Pack Day is currently scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7., location to be determined.



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 5pm on December 8th at key neighborhood intersections, on the MLCC website (, on our Facebook page (@mtlookout), 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 Civic Club did not have the funds to pay for the tissue paper squares needed to stuff the chicken-wire frame float. Lucky for the Civic Club and following generations of Mt. Lookout residents that 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 Luminaria Chairman recalls that approximately 900 kits were sold the first year for $3.75 each. The holiday tradition has continued ever since.