Georgetown’s Kaminski House Museum leads effort to display lights as sign of solidarity 

Georgetown’s Kaminski House Museum has relit its holiday lights to offer some peace and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of the Kaminski House)

Everyone needs a glimmer of hope, especially in this time of uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic when many residents are staying home and some businesses have closed temporarily. 

To the end, the Kaminski House Museum is now leading a community effort in Georgetown to be a shining light for the community in a special way. The museum is keeping its Lights on the Lawn, originally displayed during the holidays, lit over the next few weeks. In addition, museum officials are encouraging homeowners and business owners in Georgetown to also display lights as a sign of solidarity. 

“We just thought it might help people get through what everybody in the world is going through,” said Kim Leatherwood, deputy director of the museum. “These are hard times and people need help. We’d like for residents and businesses to display candles, or a string of lights, just to give people some spark of joy.” 

Lynn Robb, a resident of Georgetown’s historic district, agreed. She and her husband, Kim, recently put holiday candles in the windows of their home on Prince Street. Several other homeowners and businesses have already followed suit with candles or lights, and they encourage others to take part. 

“I really love the idea because people need to keep their spirits up, be positive and move forward,” Lynn said. “Displaying lights gives a sense of community, that we are all in this together.” 

Lynn and Kim Robb are lighting their home on Prince Street in Georgetown as a way to show solidarity with friends and neighbors.

She said that since many people need to stay home right now to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, people are looking for ways to help each other. 

“It’s like the British say, ‘Keep calm and carry on’. If everyone in the city has candles in their windows, it would be gorgeous, and it would show our support for Georgetown,” Lynn said. “When this is over, we are all going shopping!” 

Leatherwood remains hopeful that businesses and residents will bounce back after the worst of the pandemic is over and that this effort will be one of many to show community solidarity. 

“It is tough for everyone since our economy and our businesses rely on tourism dollars,” Leatherwood said. “The good thing about this is that it is happening in March and April. Hopefully by May or June, when we are at the peak of the tourist season, we can get back to normal and maybe that will help us get over this.” 

While the Kaminski House Museum is closed because of the pandemic, Leatherwood stressed that the lights will stay on.

Beth Stedman, president and CEO of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, said lighting up Georgetown would certainly help morale during this difficult time. 

“This is a beautiful way for residents and businesses in Georgetown and other areas to show their positivity, which is needed more than ever right now,” Stedman said. “We certainly hope that we can come through this and be even stronger on the other side.” 

Jack McManus, president of the Georgetown Business Association, agreed. He said he saw an article in Southern Living Magazine about using holiday lights during this time and is very supportive of local businesses and residents showing solidarity this way. 

“I think it’s one way to start making a change, a positive difference toward what our future is going to be,” McManus said. “Right now, we need to keep ourselves safe by practicing social distancing and hygiene, but, in another sense, we need to tune up our car and be ready to turn it back on.”

– By Clayton Stairs