BALTIMORE (WBFF) – Thousands gathered outside on the first night of December, coming together to mark the 45th annual Washington Monument lighting in Baltimore.
The streets of Mount Vernon crowded with locals eager to watch the ceremonial monument lighting and kick off the Christmas season.
“I feel like it’s a fun way to kick off the holiday season and it’s a family event,” said Geoff Lindsay, who has been coming to the event for 11 years.
With popcorn and bands and old Saint Nick, there were festive ways to ring in the holiday season for Baltimoreans of all ages.
“People really want to be at this event because it is such a community touchstone,” says Michael Evitts, with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. “This is really how Baltimore celebrates the season.”
More than 30 vendors set up in Mount Vernon’s West and North Parks, including a Kids Corner with face painting, crafts and photos with Santa.
Before performances began on stage, many in the crowd listened to a small choir full of women and children all dressed in Christmas costumes singing holiday carols.
“We love to make people smile and we want them to sing along,” said Jessica Thomas of the group “Ding Dongs.”
Closer to the finale, Ravens Wide Receiver Steve Smith, Sr. helped a family from the Ronald McDonald House flip the switch to light the monument. Cheers echoed in the crowd moments later when the fireworks began, to welcome in the Christmas season.