South Orange-Maplewood Leaders Aim for Biggest MLK Day Luminary Showing Yet

by The Village Green
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Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum are working with the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race to bring more light to the community than ever before on this coming Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 17) with the sale and distribution of luminaries.

The Community Coalition on Race is also hosting its 21st Annual Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, Volunteer Fair at 4 p.m. on January 17 on YouTube — as well as hosting the annual Luminary Project.

Photo courtesy of Dean Dafis, Mayor of Maplewood NJ.

“One of my favorite traditions in our beloved community is when we collectively light our luminaries in observance of and in solidarity with Dr. King and his vision of hope, peace, and love for all,” wrote Dafis on Facebook. “Last year more than 7000 luminaries brightened the night sky! With less than a week away from this year’s observance, Mayor/President Sheena Collum and I are hoping to break a record, so please join us by ordering your luminary kits today – together we can build a great beacon of hope.”

To order luninary kits, click here. Luminaries come in packs of 4 tealights and 4 bags for a suggested donation of $10. Luminaries can be delivered to your door step (contactless delivery) or picked up at a participating business (Able Baker, Pet Wants, Sparkhouse Toys, True Salvage, D&I Fitness, Oh! Canary, A Paper Hat, General Store Cooperative and Words bookstore). Luminaries can also be purchased before the day of the event, by emailing

Proceeds from the luminary support the work of the Community Coalition on Race, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible.

Learn more about this year’s MLK Celebration by visiting:

According to a release from the Coalition, “The theme for this year’s 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance is ‘Serving Something Greater Than Ourselves’ which builds on Dr. King’s reminder that “We can all be great because we can all serve”. Program highlights include stories shared by five residents and specific, local, volunteer opportunities; recitations of Dr. King’s speeches; 2022 MLK Community Choir selections; the Columbia High School Special Dance Company; remarks by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and Maplewood Major Dean Dafis; interfaith clergy and a closing by the Luminary Project which invites the community to gather outside at sunset and light luminaries as a symbol of solidarity with Dr. King’s Beloved Community.”

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