Baltimore: City of Light


Lit paper boats, part of Voyage by Aether and Hemera, will be among the art displays lighting up the Inner Harbor during Light City, Baltimore.

A feast for the eyes, a banquet for our creativity. That’s what Light City Baltimore looks like it’s going to be for seven days this spring.

The Pool by Jen Lewin Studio

One of the displays at Light City Baltimore is The Pool by Jen Lewin Studio. Even better, it’s an interactive display. Jump in, the water’s fine!

And I can’t wait. I don’t usually promote upcoming events. But here’s one that looks like it’s going to be a blast.

A festival of light displays, nightly concerts and a series of conferences focusing of sustainability, social innovation, creativity, and health: fun and educational! It’s set for the evenings of March 28-April 3 — maybe it’s coincidental but it’s Easter Week and I think that makes it even more festive.

Baltimore has been a City of Light — maybe not THE City of Light — since it became the first American city lit by gas 200 years ago. In 1816, the first gas lights lit Baltimore streets.


Voyage, by Aether and Herera of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, launches 300 floating and lit paper boats on the waters of the Inner Harbor.

For this one week from 7-11 p.m. (until midnight on Friday and Saturday), the Inner Harbor will be ablaze with lights and activity.

Along the promenade, there will be 28 light displays by nationally-known artists, floating on the water, projected on local buildings. Some will be as luminous as the Peacock by Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller of Baltimore. Some will be thought provoking, such as displays about rising water levels, local social concerns and the history of slavery in Baltimore.

Concert headliners include:

  • Thomas Dolby, Monday, March 28, 2016 at 10 p.m.
  • TT The Artist, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 10 p.m.
  • Rob Garza, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 10 p.m.
  •  DJ Jazzy Jeff, Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 10 p.m.
  • Robert DeLong, Friday, April 1, 2016 at 10:45 p.m. 
  • Dan Deacon, Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 10 p.m.
  •  DJ Spank Rock, Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 10 p.m.

For families, Mini Light City will offer craft activities and activities for children. Even the bottom candy will be lighted. (Doesn’t that sound fun?) This will take place on Pier 5.

For the scholars among us, Light City U will hold a series of seminars at the Columbus Center, except for one called Creative Innovation to be held at City Garage, an innovation hub planned for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The whole schedule is here. London hosted Lumiere London in January and it sounded like such fun. Now we’re lighting up my own hometown. I can’t wait.

Thanks to Denise Leong for photo of The Pool and Philip Vile for photos of Voyage. Thanks to Monee Cottman of Visit Baltimore for her assistance, too.


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