Ten thousand luminaries had been given out at Big Y in Newtown by 3:05 p.m. on Sunday — just five minutes after the free distribution officially started.
Volunteers giving them out said folks were grabbing the packs of 26 — one luminary for each of the victims of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook School — while they were setting up at the Queen Street store.
It was a similar story at the Newtown Stop & Shop, where volunteers had handed out 10,000 luminary bags and candles by about 4 p.m. As people entered and exited the grocery store, they grabbed a pack and, almost everyone, dropped a cash donation into a basket. Some people came just to pick up the luminaries.
The luminaries — 30,00 in total (10,000 were given out in Fairfield) — were donated by Pine Creek Deli in Fairfield. The plan is for everyone to light all 26 in front of their house at 5 p.m. tonight, Christmas Eve, in memory of the victims of the shooting.
Nicole Russo was among the volunteers handing out the luminaries on Sunday. The Fairfield resident whose nephews attend Sandy Hook School said she expects the luminary lighting will become an annual tradition.
Patch encourages folks to upload a photo of their luminaries to this article, by clicking the "upload photos and videos" link, so we can create a gallery of this communal effort to remember the 26 victims.