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A popular rite of spring in Baltimore gets underway today when FlowerMart 2017 opens in Mount Vernon Place.

Vendors began setting up booths yesterday around the base of the Washington Monument for the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow.

This year’s theme is “Not Your Mother’s Flower Mart: Old Traditions with a New Twist.” Visitors will see fancy hats, lemon peppermint sticks, arts and crafts and a wide array of flowers.

They will be supplemented this year by a wine bar, craft beer garden and live entertainment by local and national musicians.

FlowerMart is a nonprofit event organized by Flower Mart at Mt. Vernon Ltd. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, which has an agreement with the city to maintain the Washington Monument and the four squares around it, as well as the House of Ruth Maryland, which provides help for victims of intimate partner violence.

The two-day event is free and open to the public.

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.