Pictured is one of the past Leesburg Luminaria home decorating contest award winners. (Submitted photo)
Pictured is one of the past Leesburg Luminaria home decorating contest award winners. (Submitted photo)
The Leesburg Lions Club’s 31st annual Luminaria is just around the corner. This year’s event will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, with the lighting of the luminaries, followed by the presentation of the king and queen at 5:45 p.m. at the Leesburg Public Library.

The king and queen are selected from the sixth grade at Fairfield School who have submitted entries to an essay contest entitled “What the Luminaria Means To Me.”

A home decorating contest is open to all residents in the Fairfield School system. The only stipulation is that Lions’ Luminaries be used as part of the decoration. The judge for the event will be a District Lions Club officer, and the winner of the individual home contest will receive $50. Participants who do not live in Leesburg village need to call and notify the Lions Club you wish to be considered, or you can sign up when you pick up your Luminary bags.

There will be wagon rides around town this year to view all the beautiful decorations. The wagons will run from 5:30-7 p.m., and the pickup and dropoff point will be Square One Heating & Cooling in downtown Leesburg.

Santa will be at Square One Heating & Cooling from 5:30-7 p.m., and many Leesburg businesses will be holding an open house during those same hours. Those participating are the American Legion Post 568, Dollar General, Saucy Sisters Pizza, Batter Up Bakery, Southern Hills Community Bank, Leesburg Branch Library, Leesburg Post Office, Leesburg United Methodist Church, Mane Street Salon, Main Street Soapery, Pawsitivity and Square One Heating & Cooling.

The evening will end with a community Christmas service at the Fairfield Friends Church on Church Street at 7:30 p.m.

Luminaria kits will be available at Square One on Main Street in Leesburg on Friday, Dec. 6, from 3-6 p.m. They will also be available on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Each kit has 20 candles/20 bags for $8.

It is the community's hope that all residents of Leesburg will help light up the village to celebrate the real meaning of the Christmas spirit. If you have any questions, you can call (937) 780-6204 or (937) 763-7595 or (937) 780-6140.