Light City illuminates Baltimore


The Herd by Kelley Bell and presented by UMBC is fun even before the sun goes down. Light City continues through April 21.


That’s not abstract light art. That’s the crowd the filled the amphitheater for Saturday night’s concert.

Baltimore has never looked more beautiful. And I don’t only mean the light displays strung like a necklace around the Inner Harbor.

Light City brings people of all ages and from all neighborhoods together to celebrate the night. With light installations, musical performances and a bit of food, drink and lit-up souvenirs, it’s a cheerful way to get people together.


Three Baltimore friends react as the lights and sound begin at Urban Lights by ScenoCosme of France.

Baltimore has been home to festivals from the now-defunct City Fair to the Baltimore Book Festival, the venerable Flower Mart and Artscape for decades. I go to them all. They are all crowded. They are all fun. The newest, Light City is only in its third year but somehow it’s different. Not only does it take place only at night, I find it makes people interact in ways the other don’t.


Students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School brought their stepping style to the Inner Harbor.

For example, last night in a booth called Urban Lights near the Baltimore Visitor Center, participants have to hold hands while they touch the round ball that turns on the light and sound display. Two people make it hum a little. We watched while two teen-aged boys gingerly took each other’s hands—and then one by one latched onto a whole string of people. The booth lit up with color and sound you could hear 10 feet away. It was fun. It was beautiful. It made people talk to each other.


Come inside the dome and join your neighbors for the light show of The Eighth Art by Erinn Hagerty and Adam Savje.


Even the signs are pretty at Light City. So is the city.

So I’m accompanying the post with photos you may notice don’t focus on the light displays. Instead, I show mostly the people and the crowds. They, after all, are what make this fun.

Light City continues through April 21. I hope it lights up the night for years to come.

Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman



5 responses to “Light City illuminates Baltimore

    • I saw lots of parking lots with $15 or so evening parking rates. I gotta warn you though the crowds were pretty good both Saturday and Wednesday. Probably a good idea to come early and stay late. I did (three times). It’s well worth taking your time.

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