The “Light City Festival” is back in town.
And Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was all lit up, on Saturday evening to prove it. This is the second year in a row for the gala event and its second night running. It extends from March 31 to April 8.
I started my tour from the highest point available – Federal Hill Park. It’s located on the southern end of the harbor and it gives a panoramic view of the celebrations.
Back in the late 70s, I resided on the 800 block of Williams Street, just a block from the park. So, I feel like I’m coming home when I land at this popular vista overlooking the dream-becomes-a-reality of two visionary – James Wilson Rouse and William Donald Schaefer.
(Rouse also developed the City of Columbia, Md. Schaefer was Mayor of Baltimore from 1971 to 1987, plus holding a host of other public offices. A statue to Schaefer is located on the west side of the Inner Harbor, near the Light Street pavilion of Harborplace.)
The organization hosting this event, the “Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts,” calls this one: “Bigger, Brighter, Bolder.” It claims that last year’s gala brought over 400,000 visitors to Bmore & environs.
The promoters also insists that last year’s festival was the “first international light festival in the U.S.” There are “50 attractions” for folks to check out on their walking tours this year, just in the inner harbor alone. It opens from 7 pm to 11 pm weekday and on weekends from 7 pm to Midnight.
One of its most attractive features is the “BGE Light Art Walk,” which goes around the harbor. It extends from its southern Key Highway base to Pratt Street in the north, to the area k/a “Harbor East.” There are also “eight” city neighborhoods included in the celebratory mix this year, counting Little Italy, Hampden and Waverly among others.
A full schedule of performances and music is on the menu as well. Check out for full details.
Each night of the festival, the promoters say will have a “unique kickoff celebration.” Tonight, there was a “March of Fools.”
Food and beverages are also available along the walk, plus there’s comfortable dining in the Harborplace pavilions. There are plenty of things for the kids to see and do, including seesaw rides that were colorfully lit up.
I noticed plenty of happy, dancing children, with parents, and strollers, too, in the very large crowd tonight. In some areas, it was shoulder to shoulder walking.
Just in case you were wondering, there were plenty of men/women in Blue on duty tonight. They were patrolling the festival on foot and by bike as I made my rounds.
Final note: The “City Light Festival,” 2017 version, is highly recommended! The kids will love it and so will you.
Check out more of photos from my Facebook Page.