Baltimore's Waterfront Lights up with Illuminated Art

 A popular display from Light City Baltimore 2017

A popular display from Light City Baltimore 2017

Light City Baltimore, a unique city-wide lights festival,  kicks off in all its glory this weekend.

The festival launched in 2016, and has grown in geography, length of time, and popularity each year since. Light City Baltimore calls itself "a festival of light, music, and innovation" and focuses on illuminated art best viewed after dark.

This year's festival theme is "More Love, More Lights," with 21 brand new art installations along the Inner Harbor's brick-lined promenade. It runs Saturday, April 14 through Saturday, April 21, 2018. Hours are from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

 This 2017 installation turned moored sailboats into art.

This 2017 installation turned moored sailboats into art.

In addition to light displays, the festival features performances, concerts, a "family zone" for kids, an opening night parade and a fireworks display on closing night. There are local food vendors and live concerts or DJ sets on two different stages.

The art installations have been created by artists from the U.S. to Belgium to China, including ten Baltimore artists specially chosen by a jury.

New for 2018, Baltimore neighborhoods are competing in the Brilliant Baltimore Community Showcase contest. One community has the chance to win $2,018 for a lights display or event in their neighborhood, with nine honorable mentions receiving $1,000 each. The contest runs from now until April 20, and the public can vote for their favorite community from April 21-22 by clicking here.

In a surprising new addition to Light City Baltimore, visitors can witness a drone race. Operators will have to fly their drones through a sculptural obstacle course in the "Drone Prix." It's an officially sanctioned drone league race, and the only race course of its kind in the world. Who knew?

To see the full schedule of Light City Baltimore events, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano

Megan Viviano