Tonight is Bridgeport Cemetery Annual Luminary Service as Hundreds of Lights Circle Complex

By Julie Perine on December 07, 2017 via

Bridgeport Cemetery's fifth annual luminary service will be held tonight as about 600 luminaries will be aglow along the main roadway circling the cemetery. As that is more than three times as many luminaries as in years past, lighting will take hours. Bridgeport Cemetery Office Administrator Tricia Bombardiere 
Bombardiere and other city staff members will set out the luminary bags, beginning at about 2 p.m. Their efforts will result in a peaceful glow throughout the cemetery. Motorists are invited and encouraged to drive through the cemetery after sunset to see the luminaries.
The luminary service has been a work in progress since 2013 when Assistant City Manager Jimmy Smith made the suggestion. Having grown up the nephew of a cemetery superintendent, he said he helped set up similar services through the years and always felt it was a meaningful tribute.
“I remember witnessing it and talking to people and learning what it really meant to them,” he said.
He was glad to see Bridgeport implement a luminary service.
“It’s always been part of the city’s strategic plan to provide high quality service for the cemetery and to utilize it in a way that people know that we sincerely care,” he said.
Smith said the sight of the luminaries is a very pretty one. He hopes members of the community will drive through and see it. In years past, Smith said the city has received phone calls from individuals expressing what it means to them to have this event during the holidays when loved ones are missed most. 
The cemetery has also heard directly from those who have enjoyed the peaceful sight and looking forward to the next year. 
Bombardiere said she hopes that, eventually, the entire cemetery will be lined with luminary bags. 
Motorists are encouraged to use caution, especially if they choose to turn off headlights, as the cemetery is very dark and many deer travel through the grounds. Last year, the luminaries were placed closer together to create more light. 
Sometimes the weather cooperates for the service and sometimes it doesn't. It was rained out and postponed in 2015, ultimately held just days before the Christmas holiday. Last year, it was so windy that many of the luminaries went out before visitors could enjoy them.  
That was also a learning experience.
"This year, we are using flameless flickering tea lights, so hopefully weather/wind won't be an issue," Bombardiere said. 
The luminaries will be lit for one night only. The following day, they will be gathered and discarded.
Bridgeport Cemetery is located just off Route 131 (formerly Route 73), across from the old Carroll Lumber building which now houses Innovations Hair Salon. 
Editor's Note: Photos above were taken at previous luminary services at Bridgeport Cemetery. 

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