More than 17,000 candles lit up Needham on Sunday evening, Nov. 5, as local residents gathered on the Town Common for the town's first Luminary Stroll.
The event kicked off the fundraising efforts for a group looking to build a community center in Needham and brougt residents downtown to enjoy refreshments, entertainment and music and visit businesses around the common that remained open later than usual for a Sunday night.
Performers from A Different Spin LLC entertained the crowd by twirling and juggling flaming torches and staffs, while on nearby Greene's Field, residents enjoyed a meditative stroll through a candlelit labyrinth created by the Needham Clergy Association and representatives from Olin College.
On side streets throughout town, residents placed their own luminaries—purchased on the Community Center of Needham's fundraising website—and lit them once the sun went down, creating a warm glow throughout Needham on one of the first truly chilly evenings of the season.
The Community Center of Needham project was launched in May 2011 by a group of local residents who felt it was time for Needham to have a recreational center that residents of all ages could enjoy. Then called the Needham Lifelong Community Center, the project has since changed names but has the same focus—to build a community center in Needham that features, among other things, a public swimming pool.
Learn more about the project at needhamcommunitycenter.org.