This past Memorial Day weekend, rental company Main Light Industries sponsored Illuminate Delaware, a four-day event in which landmarks in Wilmington and around the state were illuminated as a tribute to essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as fallen U.S. military personnel.
Based in Wilmington, Main Light Industries is one of the largest rental companies in the United States yet the company also plays a valued role in their local community. Main Light employee and lifelong Wilmington resident John DiEleuterio coordinated the effort with assistance from Electro Sound Systems, BEW Productions, Wake Media, and Spaceboy Clothing, as well as a sizeable team of volunteers. A collective of Delaware lighting and event industry professionals gave their time and energy to help make the event a reality, helping with designing, programming, and set up and tear down of gear.
“Our plan was to light iconic Delaware locations as a show of gratitude to our essential workers and a symbol of unity to our fellow Delawareans,” stated DiEleuterio. “Main Light donated use of lighting fixtures and everyone involved volunteered their time. I get a ton of joy out of seeing things lit up and I saw this as an opportunity to hopefully make people smile at a time when there really isn’t much to smile about.”
Main Light was gracious enough to donate gear currently sitting idle in their warehouse—professional lights usually reserved for large concerts, theater shows, and special events—free of charge. “The live entertainment industry was the first to shut down and will be the last to recover,” DiEleuterio said. “I work with some amazingly talented people who love the industry as much as I do and who want to continue to use their creativity to entertain. All of us associated with ‘Illuminate Delaware’ volunteered our time and energy in the hope that our essential employees get a kick out of it and understand how important and appreciated they are.”
Several of Wilmington’s iconic sites, as well as other landmarks around Delaware, were lit for the occasion. Elation was honored to have products involved at two sites – the 1201 Market Street Building (the tallest building in Delaware), which utilised 42 Level Q7 IP RGBW PAR lights and 6 Paladin LED multi-effect lights; and the New Castle Courthouse, which utilized 6 Paladin. Tom Manchester, Michael Yarabinee and the Electro Sound Systems’ crew handled both of the Elation featured locations.
Residents of the area were invited to drive by and view the locations, which shined in blue between dusk and dawn over Memorial Day weekend, then in patriotic red, white, and blue in honor of U.S. Armed Forces personnel on Monday. The event was a complete success, says DiEleuterio, as folks left their homes, many for the first time in months, and drove around to see and photograph all the sites. “Nothing like this has been done in Wilmington before so people were really into it. For many it provided a moment of hopeful relief in what is a very challenging time.”