Lighting up Baltimore

By | Category: Travel destinations


Now here is an anniversary for you. Baltimore was the first American city – 200 years ago this year – to light up its streets with gas lanterns.

The gas burners have long since gone but lighting is one reason why so many visitors come to Baltimore each year.

Light City will, the organisers say, transform Baltimore with world-class light displays, cutting-edge sculptures, video projections on buildings and interactive technologies to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for families, residents and visitors.

The festival is a celebration of Baltimore’s creative, cutting-edge, multi-channel talent and music will also be a major attraction. Light City will feature uniquely curated live shows that will invite the world to experience Baltimore, one of America’s hottest music scenes.

But whilst Light City might focus on Baltimore, all of the displays will not necessarily come from that city. For example, Aether & Hemera from Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be displaying “Voyage” which consists of 300 illuminated floating ‘paper-boats’ and is designed to be an interactive experience which people can engage with through their mobile phones. To interact with the installation, visitors can connect their phones via local free Wi-Fi and a local server.  The individual boats are translucent elements folded from die cut polypropylene sheets; polypropylene is a non-toxic and fully recyclable material and acts as a diffusing element for the lighting inside.

Visitors have the opportunity to see 29 different visual art displays, twelve performances and thirteen musical events over the five days of the festival which starts on March 28th.

As the only major light show in the USA, this will be quite a visitor draw for the city so hotels could be busy. But being only a few hours from New York means visitors could comfortably include it in a day trip from New York especially as trains virtually run every hour at least and almost right through the night.

From the UK, we are lucky because there are direct flights into Baltimore on British Airways from Heathrow. You can also fly from some regional airports on Wow Air via Reykjavik in Iceland. If you fly into Washington DC then there is a train service from Washington’s 30th Street Station that takes you the fifty miles to Baltimore.


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