The 46th Annual Monument Lighting. Image via Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

It’s time to light up. With December upon us, Baltimore’s favorite holiday season festivities are on the calendar this weekend. They’re lighting up neighborhoods, offering local goods to shop and parading through the city. Plus, check out musical performances from national stars, and a few chances to see local notables in intimate settings. Here’s the lineup:

Monument Lighting: 5-8 p.m. on Thurs. Dec. 2, at Mount Vernon Place. Welcome the holidays at the 50th annual celebration to illuminate Baltimore’s own Washington Monument. The festive gathering returns in 2021 with live music from local perfomers like Rufus Roundtree and Da B’more Brass Factory and plenty of vendors with food to sample and goods to shop. And, of course, fireworks.

Variations on Holidays: Dec. 3-19 at Motor House. It’s the 17th edition of the 10-minute play festival, featuring works from 10 local authors centered on holiday themes. In-person and virtual vieiwing options are available.

Disrupting Lines: The Career and Legacy of Victorine Adams: 1 p.m. on Fri. Dec. 3, virtual. Morgan State University Archivist Dr. Ida E. Jones discusses the life of the first African American elected to the Baltimore City Council. It’s part of the Virtual Histories series from Baltimore Architecture Foundation and Baltimore Heritage.

Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Gza: 8 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 3, at Baltimore Soundstage. Head downtown to check out three emcees who made their names as members of the Wu-Tang Clan, then went on to record solo albums that were landmarks of 90s hip-hop in their own right. Eze Jackson and Ill Conscious open.

Laraaji: 8 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 3 at Creative Alliance: The New York City-based musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner brings his unique performative sound baths to Baltimore. William Cashion, who is the basisst of Future Islands, opens with a solo set.

An Evening With André DeShields: Dec. 3-5 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. A Baltimore native, DeShields won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in “Hadestown.” Now, he returns to Baltimore to tell the story of the city’s role in his journey, and performs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Joe Bonamassa: 8 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 4, at The Lyric. The celebrated blues rock guitarist headlines the Midtown concert hall, touring in support of his 24th album.

Old Thyme Christmas: Sat., Dec. 4, in Fells Point. Gather by the waterfront in historic Fells Point for a full day of festivities including a Christmas tree lighting, the lighted boat parade and a visit from the Big Guy (by boat!).

Holiday Heap: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 2640 St. Paul St. The Charm City Craft Mafia’s much-anticipated maker market returns with dozens of local vendors. It’s one of the best places for one-stop local shopping experiences.

Holiday Makers Market: Dec. 4 at Checkerspot Brewing. Head to the South Baltimore brewery for local shopping with more than a dozen vendors. Plus, sample two new beers released just in time for the holidays.

Mayor’s Christmas Parade: 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5 in Hampden. The 48th edition of the big procession on The Avenue features marching bands, balloons, floats and, of course, the big guy himself.

2021 Krampaulauf & A Cryptid Christmas: 2-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Peabody Height Brewing. This holiday celebration of “mayhem and mirth” takes to the streets with costumed revelers paying homage to Krampus, the mythological horned figure who was known to scare the children that don’t behave. After the procession, expect live music, raffles, vendors, and The Krampus Games. Performances start at 5 p.m. for A Cryptid Christmas, with local bands Beach Creeper, Moth Broth and Boy Meets Pearl.

Winter Lights at the Observatory: 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Patterson Park. Head out to Southeast Baltimore to light the tower. Plus, a festival features holiday performances, food vendors, crafts and more.

Coffee, Patisserie & Classical Music: 10 a.m. on Sun., Dec. 5 at An Die Musik Live! Join the BSO’s Katherine Needleman and Nina DeCesare for a program featuring works by Giulio Caccini and Althea Talbot-Howard.

An Afternoon of Poetry: 2 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 5 at Enoch Pratt Free Library, virtual. Join host Reginald Harris and the CityLit Project for readings from poets Mahogany L. Browne and Teri Ellen Cross Davis. Plus local Cave Canem fellows: Alan King, Derrick Weston Brown, Laura Swearingen-Steadwell, Abdul Ali, Steven Leyva, and Kateema Lee.

Brittney Spencer – Sam Williams – Camille Parker: 7 p.m. on Sun. Dec. 5 at 8X10. Spencer is a Baltimore native making a name in country music. She’s joined by Sam Williams, the grandson of country legend Hank Williams and rising country star Camille Parker.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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