Luminaria Walk

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This looks really fun – a “luminaria walk” along the River’s Edge Trail coming up on June 26th, featuring food, music, and hundreds of twinkling lights!

The evening of Saturday, June 26 will be a great time to bring your friends and family down to the River’s Edge Trail. Musicians, entertainers, refreshments and over 1,500 twinkling luminaria will line the trail between the caboose and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. and admission is free.

For a variety of reasons the Luminaria Walk has been on hiatus since the summer of 2002. With new partners to share the load, and many of the original volunteers ready to make the magical evening happen again, the conditions are right to bring Luminaria Walk back this year in conjunction with the Lewis & Clark Festival.

Even though admission is free you’ll want to bring some money for tasty treats and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. The 11th Luminaria Walk will feature three food and beverage concession areas. Doo Das trailer and ice cream truck will be set up near the caboose offering nachos, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, burritos, soft drinks, water and a variety of ice cream. Near the mid-point of the walk, just west of the tunnel under Giant Springs Road, Foothills Community Christian School volunteers will be selling popcorn, Pepsi products and bottled water.

At the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center vendors will be selling Indian tacos, hamburgers, hotdogs and beverages. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces will be available. Festival musicians will provide entertainment at the Interpretive Center and music will be provided along the trail by Alan Korslein, We Ski Cousins, Aaron Parrot the Accordian Club and more. As in past years the luminaria sacks will be hand painted by students at the Foothills Community Christian School. They also fill the sacks with sand, place them on the trail, set and light the candles and keep them lit during the evening as dark overtakes the river canyon.

Lights on Black Eagle Dam help illuminate the waterfalls. An added treat will be looking up at the fireworks from Centene Stadium. Parking at the west end of the event will be at and near the Great Falls Park & Recreation offices on River Drive North. Parking at the east end will be at the Interpretive Center, FWP Headquarters and Heritage Park. The Great Falls Trolley will be running a loop route between the parking areas for those who don’t want to walk both ways.

Luminaria Walk organizers, sponsors and staff include the City of Great Falls, Recreational Trails, Inc., Foothills Community Christian School, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Foundation, Region 4 Fish, Wildlife & Parks, MAFB volunteers, Pepsi of Great Falls and PPL Montana.

The River’s Edge Trail Luminaria Walk is a fun-raiser not a fund-raiser. No silent auctions. No 50/50s or pleas for help with special projects. Just an evening to enjoy living along a special stretch of the great Missouri River. Due to the crowds that attend, organizers ask that you leave your dogs, bikes, skates and skateboards at home that night and come stroll along the river to help celebrate River’s Edge Trail .

Note that bit about “no 50/50s” – as much as I appreciate community spirit, it’s neat/unusual to see such an event that actually DOESN’T have live/silent auctions and a 50/50 drawing. To learn more, visit the River’s Edge Trail website (which looks much nicer lately, BTW).

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