Light City Baltimore

A child explores “Pool [Reflect]” during Light City Baltimore 2016. This popular art installation by artist Jen Lewin, from New York City, features a system of interactive, reflective platforms that create a dynamic landscape of interactive light. The colorful attraction will be featured again this year. | Courtesy photo

A festival of light, music and innovation

BALIMORE – Light City Baltimore is back for its second year. Billed as a “festival of light, music and innovation,” the free event spans nine days, March 31 to April 8, across Charm City.

Launched by the Baltimore Office of Promotions & The Arts, or BOPA, in 2016, Light City Baltimore is the first large-scale international light festival in the nation.

The centerpiece of the festival is the BGE Light Art Walk, a 1.5 mile trail along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that includes illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, pop-up performances, musical entertainment and locally-sourced food concepts.

“The feedback last year was extremely positive,” said BOPA Communications Director Tracy Baskervillle. “More than 400,000 people attended the festival in 2016, and the total economic impact on Baltimore City was $33.8 million.”

According to Baskerville, the event will feature 21 illuminated art installations that are new to the event. Fan favorite the “Pool [Reflect]” by artist Jen Lewin, from New York City will be returning, as well as “The Peacock” by Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller.

“The Peacock received a lot of attention and was a real favorite of attendees which was exciting as the artists are Baltimore based,” she said.

New this year, each evening of the festival will feature a “Nightly Moment” starting at the Maryland Science Center at 8 p.m. and ending at Harbor East. Highlights include “Light it UP Blue” for World Autism Day, “Star Spangled Baltimore,” and a Kinetic Procession and Bike Glow Rally.

“The Peacock,” a fan favorite by Baltimore artists Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller, will return to Light City Baltimore this year. When fully extended the peacock’s plume stretches 40 feet wide by 20 feet high and is lighted with 15,000 individually addressable light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. | Courtesy photo

Another big draw is the local bands and national headliners performing at Light City’s “Light Up the Night Stage” at the Inner Harbor Ampitheater, featuring a variety of genres like jazz, hip-hop, rock and R&B.

Baskersville said families with children will enjoy creating illuminated crafts and seeing a variety of performances geared to children, at “Mini Light City” located in the Kaufman Pavilion at Rash Field.

Labs@LightCity

During the day, Light City will host “Labs@LightCity, an innovative conference featuring topics like health, education, design, environment and food. Conference speakers include Founder of Food Tank Danielle Neirenberg and Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist Siddhartha Mukherjeer.

Brilliant Baltimore

A new program called “Brilliant Baltimore” will feature more than 70 lighted buildings throught the city. For a complete list of participating organizations, visit http://lightcity.org/art-and-performance/brilliant-baltimore/.

About Light City Baltimore

Festival hours are 7 to 11 p.m. nightly; open until midnight Friday and Saturday. Mini Light City open 5 to 8 p.m. nightly.

For a complete schedule of events, visit http://lightcity.org/. A free app for Andriod and Apple users includes a festival map, schedule and transportation and parking information.

By Rachel Ponder, APG News