BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Washington Monument lighting in Baltimore.
“There are gonna be over 8,400 bulbs that will get energized by the holiday spirit in this crowd,” said Mike Evitts with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
It started as a quiet gathering of neighbors. Now it’s a longstanding Baltimore ritual. It’s back and bigger than ever after having to be virtual last year. There will be caroling, food, and a local vendor market.
“The biggest thing is… we have fireworks and that’s something you can’t get anywhere else in Baltimore this holiday season,” said Evitts.
“With the pandemic, a lot of events were canceled and with public gatherings not being able to be held, to be able to come out here and kick off the holiday season, it’s nice to be able to start having all these events,” said Steve Coluccio, the chief pyrotechnician with Fireworks by Grucci, who is responsible for the show.
Over 1000 pyrotechnic devices will be laid out around the monument.
“The nice thing about this, it’s all close proximity so it gives the crowd the feeling that they’re closer to the event than what’s normally allowed,” said Coluccio. “It’s all gonna be choreographed to music so we’re gonna have a lot of reds and greens and golds and whites.”
Illuminating the monument, presented by BGE, is a holiday tradition that the Downtown Partnership has been involved in for decades, but this year will be the last for them. The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, which oversees the monument and the parks that surround it, will be taking over.
“The hand off for the monument after 50 years I think was really reflective of the local community here and wanting them to have more say in the event. The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy represents these parks and the neighborhood. They take care of it here round, This is their front yard and so it seemed like a good time for them to step in and us to step back and I think it’s going to be great,” said Evitts. “Next year, it’s up to the conservancy to figure out how big or not to make it. It’s really in their hands with the community and they have the say about how it’s gonna go.”
Music will be going on from 5:30-7:45 and then the lighting and fireworks will take place just before 8 p.m.