Fireworks shoot over Baltimore’s Washington Monument during a previous year’s monument lighting event. Photo by Joe Cardamone.

Baltimore’s Washington Monument will be lit up for the holidays during a ceremony Dec. 1 at Mount Vernon Place.

Starting at 5 p.m., the event will feature food and drink vendors and live performances leading up to the monument lighting at 8 p.m.

Now celebrating its 51st year, the monument lighting is being newly managed by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.

The nonprofit was founded in 2008 and partnered with Baltimore City in 20212 to oversee the upkeep of the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place. In 2019, the Conservancy took over one of Mount Vernon’s most popular annual events, Flower Mart, which returned after a two-year hiatus in 2022.

Thursday’s event will welcome more than 20 local food vendors, as well as local beer, mead, and wine vendors.

The footprint for the food and drink vendors will be expanded this year in an effort to reduce wait times, according to the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.

“We’ve spread out the food vendors between the West and the North squares, and there are bar concessions in these squares, as well as the South,” said Lance Humphries, executive director of the Conservancy, in a statement. “We hope guests check out the map online before they arrive to plan their trip. It is a busy and exciting jam-packed evening!”

Visitors can find a map of local bars and restaurants here.

Attendees can enjoy holiday music performed by musicians from the Baltimore School for the Arts, OrchKids, the Peabody Brass Ensemble, Brandon Woody, and the Morgan State University Choir.

Then, at 8 p.m., there will be a fireworks display designed by Baltimore-based company Image Engineering, which produces laser and pyrotechnic shows and other events.

Former WBAL-TV investigative reporter Jayne Miller will serve as the emcee.

Parking near the monument will be limited, the Conservancy said, but drivers can find a map of parking locations and prices here.

Baltimore City Department of Transpiration is advising residents to be aware of road closures around the event area.

Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, there will be closures on the west side of North Charles Street from Centre Street to Madison Street; and on both sides of West Mount Vernon Place from North Charles Street to Cathedral Street.

Also, on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., there will be closures on the east side of North Charles Street from Centre Street to Read Street; both sides of Madison Street from St. Paul Street to Cathedral Street; and both sides of East Mount Vernon Place from St. Paul Street to North Charles Street.

The Charm City Circulator’s Purple Route will be detoured, and northbound stops at the Washington Monument (Stop 307) and Eager Street (Stop 308) will be closed.

Riders can still use the stops at the intersection of Charles Street and Hamilton Street (Stop 306); and at Charles Street and Biddle Street (Stop 309).

The Conservancy is working to improve the area surrounding the Washington Monument, said Humphries.

“While we’ve restored the Washington Monument, there remains much work to do to restore the parks for the future,” Humphries said. “If you look closely, the historic fabric is literally crumbling. We are currently in the middle of a $12 million capital campaign to restore the North and South Squares.”

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at