Going to Baltimore's Monument lighting? Here's what you need to know

The 46th annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting starts the holiday season in Baltimore with music, lights, and fireworks. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore’s signature Christmas “tree,” the 178-foot-tall Washington Monument at Mount Vernon Place, gets lit up for the holidays Thursday with all the festiveness Charm City can muster — including food, music, kids’ activities, a fireworks display and plenty more. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on going.

What time does it start?


The free celebration starts at 5 p.m., with the lighting itself set for about 7:55 p.m., followed by fireworks.

What will be going on?


A holiday village with food and other vendors is planned for the West Park, while food trucks and bars will make their home at North Park. South Park will feature “family-friendly” food vendors, plus children's crafts, face painting, photos with Santa and more.

Balitmoreans can chow down on cocoa, cookies and chestnuts roasted on an open fire next Thursday in Monument Park. If they take a moment to look up from their plates, they’ll also see the Washington Monument brighten the sky with holiday lights.

Who will be performing?

Sounds of the holidays will be provided by Kristen Toedtman & The Community Chorus of Peabody, OrchKids, JAGMAC (a family of Baltimore-raised musicians named Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing”), City College Choir and Morgan State Choir.

What sorts of food and drinks will be available?

All kinds: more than 25 vendors and food trucks will be available, offering everything from seafood and pizza to doughnuts and cookies. (Find a complete list here.) There’ll also be a beer garden, and bars in the three parks will be offering beer and wine for $4.

Where can I park?

The area has limited on-street parking, but plenty of space should be available in the parking garage at Calvert and Centre streets, east of the monument.

Just be careful to avoid the road closures:

  • Washington Place (North Charles Street) – Centre Street to Madison Street closed to traffic 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • Mount Vernon Place – North Charles Street to St. Paul Street closed to traffic 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • Centre Street – Cathedral Street to North Calvert Street closed to traffic 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • Mount Vernon Place – North Charles Street to Cathedral Street – closed Wednesday at 6 p.m. for setup and will remain closed until midnight after the lighting.

What else is happening in the area?

Hotel Revival, 10 W. Monument St., is offering a rooftop view of the lighting from its Topside restaurant from 6 p.m.-11 p.m., with passed appetizers and two food stations (including an Oyster Bar and a Whistle Pig Taco Bar), plus three specialty monument-lighting cocktails. $100.

Wet City, 223 W. Chase St., is having a Monument Lighting Party beginning at 5 p.m., with hot cocktails (mulled hot cider with rum and Chartreuse hot chocolates) and specials.

The Brewer’s Art, 1106 N. Charles St., will be offering happy hour-priced house beers from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., plus drink and cocktail specials all night.


The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., will be hosting a series of free family-friendly activities from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., including a scavenger hunt, story time, candle making and holiday-inspired tours of the museum, plus performances from the Wilkes School Chorus and the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women Cheerleaders. Cookies and hot chocolate, too.

Where can I find more information?

Visit godowntownbaltimore.com. Now go have fun. And Happy Holidays!

Baltimore Sun reporter Christina Tkacik contributed to this article.

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