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Illuminate Thanksgiving 2017 – New Location

November 18, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm


Illuminate Thanksgiving will now be held at the historic First Parish Church in Plymouth, located at 19 Town Square. Everything else about the event remains the same.

Nearly four centuries ago, Governor William Bradford described the influence of Plymouth Colony in his famous quote, “…as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many…” As we approach the 400th anniversary of the founding of Plymouth Colony, Bradford’s words will be brought to life at Plymouth 400’s fourth annual Illuminate Thanksgiving, an inspirational evening promoting gratitude and giving. Joining together with America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration, Illuminate Thanksgiving will take place Saturday, November 18 at the First Parish Church in Plymouth from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. The historic First Parish Church is at the base of Burial Hill on the town square at the top of Leyden Street. Founded in 1620 by the original Pilgrims, it is the oldest church congregation in the United States in continuous operation. Leyden Street itself dates to 1620 and is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the original thirteen colonies.

The hour-long program and candle-lighting ceremony focuses on young people and their ability to be that “one small candle” making a difference in the lives of many. The program features inspirational music by Northern Lights A Capella Chorus from Plymouth North High School and an original song performed by the Plymouth International Chorus. A reading of Bradford’s quote by one of his descendants, D. Brenton Simons, CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and candle-lighting led by Governor General George Garmany and members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, a National organization honoring the first families of Plymouth Colony. A winning essay contest winner will read their response to the question, “Who illuminates your life?” providing a powerful moment of gratitude and giving. Finally, the recipient of the One Small Candle Award, which honors an individual or organization that has truly personified Bradford’s words will be announced at the event. It is a reminder that just one thoughtful act can inspire many more.

“Illuminate Thanksgiving is an international partnership as well as a grassroots community program. We share the event with our British counterparts in Plymouth and Boston, England, Leiden in the Netherlands, and communities here in Massachusetts,” said Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400 Inc. “We encourage anyone to join us here in Plymouth or to organize an Illuminate Thanksgiving event their own community during November. Between now and 2020, we hope to see this inspirational event spread far and wide, rekindling our commitment to give thanks and give back.”

Following the program, participating businesses and restaurants will illuminate their storefronts with light-inspired displays as part of the #IlluminateThanksgiving campaign in partnership with the Plymouth Bay Cultural District. The event is free and open to the public, and is presented by Goldman Sachs Gives with additional support from Newfield House Inc. and Best Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.


November 18, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Event Category:


First Parish in Plymouth, Unitarian Universalist
19 Town Sq
Plymouth, MA 02360 United States


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