Frequently Asked Questions about the National Night Out Luminary Project by the Wilde Lake Village Board


Who is behind the Wilde Lake Luminaria Project?

The project is a grass-roots, 100% volunteer community effort of the neighborhoods of Wilde Lake organized by the Wilde Lake Village Board.

The project is about encouraging community unity, celebrating & enhancing the relationship between neighbors & law enforcement and the power of people working together.

What is a luminaria?

A luminaria is an LED tea light placed in a paper bag along with about a cup of sand that weights the bag.  The top edge of the bag is folded down so that it stands straight.

What is National Night Out?

National Night Out is a festive night that celebrates and enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Sounds great!  How can I participate?

·       Purchase LED tea lights, sand and bags.  Links to purchase supplies are below.
·       Assemble luminarias.  Detailed instructions are below.
·       Set up the luminarias on Tuesday, October 6 at 6 PM by placing them at ten-foot intervals all along your driveway, property, or in the neighborhood common area depending on the rules for your neighborhood.  (In case of inclement weather, neighbors are encouraged to set up luminarias on the following day.)
·       Clean up the bags by noon the following morning.

How can residents of apartment and condominium buildings participate in the Wilde Lake Luminaria Project?

First check with your building manager. Come to an agreement on how you plan to get the word out to the residents. For example, is it OK to place a notice on bulletin boards in common areas? Is it OK to distribute flyers on doorsteps? Also, come to an agreement on where you can and cannot place luminarias.

Where can I purchase supplies?

Home Depot and Amazon are excellent vendors for acquiring the supplies to make luminarias. However, feel free to purchase supplies wherever you choose.

Tailor the supplies to your own design concept, although battery power tea lights are recommended over candles for safety reasons. Then contact us at the email below, so that Wilde Lake Village Board members can come see your design on October 6.



How do I make luminarias?

1 white paper bag

1/2 cup of sand

1 LED tea light

Open bag.  Fold-down top inch of the bag for sturdiness.  Place 1/2 cup sand in the bottom of each bag.  Place one LED tea light inside.

The size of your driveway, property, or neighborhood common area will determine the number of luminaries needed.

Do luminarias present a fire hazard?

In the manner suggested, luminarias do not present a significant fire hazard.  Each LED tea light should be in a bed of sand in the bag.

What else can I do to help? 

The Wilde Lake Luminaria Project is about people communicating.

·       Let the Wilde Lake Village Board that you plan to participate by contacting Steven Campbell at


·       Enroll your neighborhood effort on the National Night Out website.

·       Tell your neighbors and friends about the Wilde Lake Luminaria Project and the value you see in it.  Invite them to coordinate it on their streets.
·       Mention the project on your social media sites.

How did the tradition of lighting luminarias begin?

Lighting luminarias began in Spain (where they are also called farolitos) as a Christmas tradition.  It expanded to Mexico and is also very popular throughout the southwestern United States.  It is important to note that although lighting luminarias is practiced elsewhere as a Christmas custom, the Wilde Lake Luminaria Project is intended to include the entire community and has no religious affiliations.

The Wilde Lake Luminaria Project is inclusive in nature.   It’s about bringing people of all faiths and cultures together in a celebration of community.  These themes transcend our differences and unite us by our common humanity.  The Wilde Lake Village Board has specifically chosen to associate this celebration with National Night Out to emphasize the non-sectarian, community-oriented focus of the Project.

What if I set up luminaries and no one else on my street is interested?

Human beings all desire a sense of community.  But with the pace and stresses of modern life, sometimes it’s hard to find time to actually experience ourselves as part of a vital, nurturing community.  It’s normal to feel a little shy about being the one to get the ball rolling, but if you do, you’ll probably be surprised by how many people on your street follow your lead, and thank you later for being a leader.


Who can I contact for more information, questions, comments and concerns? 

Please contact Steven Campbell, Wilde Lake Village Board Member at