Yesterday, I spent part of the evening at Baltimore’s annual Washington Monument Holiday Lighting. I had never been, so I was amazed at how much they could squeeze into such a small space. For those who haven’t been to the Mount Vernon area (location of the monument), it is comprised of the monument (duh) and four surrounding rectangular parks, creating a cross (more like an addition symbol), with Washington at the center. This cross is then surrounded by homes that were once owned and inhabited by Baltimore’s early elite. Do a little bit of reading and you’ll notice that quite a few of Baltimore’s street names come from people who either lived in Mount Vernon or had some special connection to it.

Anyway, the organizers managed to squeeze in a choir stage, festival booths to house food, drinks, and crafts from local businesses, and a sectioned-off area exclusively for fireworks. On top of all that, there were thousands of people in the park. Thousands. Apparently, this lighting has been a tradition for over four decades, nearly tripling in size since then (it might actually be more, I don’t know, I made up that estimate).

Personally, it was a great neighborhood get-together and a fantastic way to start off December and the holidays that it brings. Now, I just have to start that pesky shopping process.

-E.B. Alexander

P.S. If anyone wants a little more info about the event, but is too lazy to use the googs, well here ya go!