Welcome to live coverage of the 19th Annual Holly Street Luminaria and Festival of Wonders.
No, I won't keep that up for long. But it is the 19th year we've done the luminaria here. And unlike that first year (1992, for the historically minded), dozens of blocks surrounding us and many in other neighborhoods are having their own light celebrations tonight.
So, here's a running account (below the slideshow):
[Christmas night: So much for the live blog. What happened was we set up our table in the driveway, as usual, to serve hot cider (and treats from many neighbors), and that was that. I spent the next three hours or so out there. Dozens of people came by, and we ladled up about three gallons of cider.
After that, I came inside and posted some pictures. And after that, we drove around North Berkeley with the Martinuccis, our long-ago co-conspirators in the luminaria game, to see where we might find them. We saw some as far north as Solano Avenue and Tulare Street, as far south as Ohlone Park at McGee and Grant streets, as far east as Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Vine Street, and as far west as Stannage Street between Hopkins and Page. The extreme northern and western points were not connected to our neighborhood, but someone out there has ideas about this.
When we were finished with the drive, a couple people in the van were nodding out. Kate and I came home, wrapped some presents while a Season Five episode of "Lost" played, then went to bed. This morning, there was nothing to do but pick up bags from the street, then go on with our holiday.]
6: 20 p.m. The first sign of the luminaria was reported this morning by Kate, who saw a block on California Street, around the corner from us, marked at 7 a.m. That was somebody getting a very early start. And tonight, bags are out and lit already on Cedar and California streets. Our street? Well, across the way, the Martinuccis and other neighbors are folding bags. We're getting our cider ready, and have the table set up in the driveway. The sidewalks are marked.