BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Huge crowds took over downtown Baltimore this weekend for a first-of-its-kind festival.
"We are excited now to have them come together for a fall extravaganza," said festivals director Kathy Hornig.
This year, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts combined Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival, giving visitors lots of see and do, and a boost to area businesses and book vendors.
"We were surprised to find it out it had been moved, but combining it with the Light City event is very nice," said book vendor Christine Bowers.
Bowers, based in Harford County, was a vendor last year when the festival was in September. She said book sales are comparable if not better this year.
"With it being beautiful weather, we still have lots of families out even at this hour on a Sunday night so we have been really thrilled with the turnout," said Bowers.
Along with combining them, the festivals were moved to November, after Daylight Savings.
"This is great. It gets darker earlier so we were able to bring the kids out early. It's been fantastic," said Melinda Goodman.
This years' theme is Brilliant Baltimore to shine a light on all the positive things happening in the city.
"It’s a chance for people to come down and make memories and new traditions and shine a positive light on everything that’s happening here in Baltimore. It’s true. We have our challenges. We continue to do so. It’s been a rough year but what a better way to end the year than by shining a light on everything that’s positive both here at the harbor and also across the neighborhoods," said Hornig.
Also new this year, the Inner Harbor Ice Rink is open earlier than usual, giving people in more to do.
The book vendors packed up for the end of the festival on Sunday night, but there are still author exhibitions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening and the lights will be turned on 5-10 p.m. through Sunday, culminating in a fireworks display Sunday night.