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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 indoors at the First Parish Church, 19 Town Square in downtown Plymouth. The event is free and open to the public, and is presented by Goldman Sachs Gives, with additional support from The Newfield House Inc. and Best Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
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 will feature inspirational music by Northern Lights A Capella 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, and a candle lighting led by Governor General George Garmony 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.
After the ceremony, take a stroll through the Plymouth Bay Cultural District to view the illuminated storefronts with light-inspired displays as part of the #IlluminatePlymouthCulture campaign.