Picture a scene with me, if you will. Imagine 12,000 tiny flames lighting up a field after nightfall. Each small light represents a fallen soldier…a father, a brother, a son. It’s beautiful, right? In commemoration of the Battle of the Crossroads in Corinth, MS, over 12,000 luminaries will be placed and lit on the very battlefield where brave soldiers lost their lives in the Civil War. The Corinth Grand Illumination is a beautiful tradition and one that involves the entire community.

Partnering with the Corinth Department of Tourism, we’re hosting this tradition at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and the historic downtown area where hundreds of luminaries will light up the beautiful storefronts of local shops and historic landmarks.

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So what does it take to make this all come together? Teamwork! Joining our Maintenance crew and park rangers are the Corinth Department of Tourism, Corinth city street commissioner, Corinth Rotary Club, and several other local groups. They’re donating supplies, volunteering time, and helping spread the word. Of course our biggest assistance is from volunteers. Local high school students, football teams, senior citizens, and even families are helping us assemble the luminaries.

Saturdays are my favorite time to work with the volunteers. We usually form an assembly line with one person opening a bag, the next person scoops in sand, the next person drops in a candle, and finally the last person puts the finished product on our handy storage pallets. We have a great time rocking out to tunes, telling jokes, and best of all seeing which assembly line can make the most luminaries!

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Our warehouse where the magic happens!

This is only my third month as a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador here at Shiloh National Military Park, but I’ve been welcomed into the community and feel like I fit right in. I love the community’s eagerness to come together to commemorate the brave soldiers of the Civil War. Every day my sign up sheet gets more and more names of people who want to be a part of this grand tradition. With such great spirit, I’m sure we’ll have over 12,000 luminaries in no time at all!