December 1, 2011

Monument Lighting

One of the traditions that launches the Christmas season for me is the annual Lighting of the Washington MonumentIMG_6955 in the center of Baltimore City, on the beautiful Mount Vernon Place. IMG_6957

Julie, my friend and Sunday morning Farmers’ Market partner in crime, wrote about the Monument Lighting much more eloquently than I ever could:

…I went to the lighting of Baltimore's Washington Monument, which is always as close to a scene from Bedford Falls at Christmastime as you can find in present-day Baltimore.

A throng of people mill about in the chilly twilight, stands sell hot chocolate, and school choirs and bands play Christmas carols. When it's time to light the monument the mayor leads the crowd in the countdown. The lights come on, fireworks go off, and the crowd cheers. For some reason I always find myself moved to the edge of tears…  Afterwards we made our way home through the surrounding streets with their shop windows outlined with lights, and buildings decorated with greens, and in the dark Baltimore really did look more like a Christmas village than a grimy second-tier city…

As Julie says, the fireworks are shot off after the Monument’s lights are turned on. And the fireworks are shot off from around the perimeter of the Monument, and are REALLY close!

And the booms from the fireworks echo through the streets, bouncing off the nearby buildings. IMG_6966

What a great way to signal the start of the holiday season in Baltimore… with a bang!


  1. About 13 years ago, I provided some architectural improvements to an apartment in a townhouse that has a view to this monument. It is a great urban area.

  2. Interesting. I've never associated fireworks with Christmas. I had to go look up 'second tier' cities. I love learning new things!

  3. That looks exciting and I am pleased to read that others weep when carols are sung. The music and language must touch on some profound and ancient core experiences.

  4. So beautiful + exciting.Thank you for sharing this delicious outing. Merry Christmas.

  5. OK.. I'm going to hijack your thread for a moment... it IS friday and all... On the topic of monument lighting: I'd like to build/DIY a silhouette/cutout light of the Eiffel tower to hang over my daughter's bed (my 4 year old is obsessed since mom and dad visited there last year) and I CANNOT for the life of me, find any kind of christmas lights/string lights that mimic the strobing/twinkling that the Eiffel exhibits on the hour... any tips designers?


  6. Beautiful, your posts always lift me up a little. Except for the ones about cooking. If I made anything, like the Danish, I would eat the whole thing. We need more Connor pictures and stories. Ann

  7. I ended up seeing this for the first time last year. It really was special.

  8. looks wonderful Meg!
    Just catching up after returning from Scotland. I did raise a glass to you, a glass of Scotch. Unfortunately not at the Oyster Bar at Loch Fyne, but at "Coast" in Oban. You would have liked it!

  9. Pray tell why do holiday decorations go up so early. It just makes the children think the big day is right around the corner. Or is it to remind people to be civil at least during the month of December if that's the case good. As I type this in sunny Florida my neighbor the neighbor from #$%@ is putting up lights to decorate her cottage. The rudest person ever and she puts up horrid lights. Does a Martha Stewart on Halloween -turns the lights off and leaves-- blows her leaves off her property into the street-- never ever bagging them up just turns them into some one elses's problem --never cleans up after her dog-- never uses a leash etc - neighbors have concluded that she has an undiagnosed case of bi-polar bearish ness LOL

  10. A great tradition to start the season off with a bang!

  11. Your love of Baltimore is touching, and inspiring me to see the beauty here (where I live part-time).
    I must go next year!!

  12. thats amazing. If you are interested in lighting you should check out They do interesting things with lighting and light fixtures.


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.