Police Save Floating Light City Installation from Sinking in Pouring Rain

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“Drift,” by Stephanie Imbeau. Photo via Baltimore Police Department.

On the first day of Light City, continuous downpours threatened one of the art installations in the festival’s main visual art attraction, the Light Art Walk in the Inner Harbor. Thankfully, Baltimore police were there to save the day.

“Drift,” a spectacle of 500 lighted umbrellas covering three sailboats crafted by artist Stephanie Imbeau, is sitting in the Inner Harbor close to Pier Six for the next nine days. Around 9:30 a.m. this morning, during a spate of heavy rain, one of those three boats began to fill up with water, said Baltimore Police Department spokesman Donny Moses.

“With all the rain, it was actually and literally filling the boat to the point where the boat was heavy and started to sink,” he said by phone.

Officers from the department’s Marine Unit promptly responded and used equipment to pump the water out of the boat, Moses said. That helped reduce the threat that rain might sink the floating artwork.

Kathy Hornig, director of festivals for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, said the vessel was “listing” before police bailed out the water, but that the boat “righted herself and is now in no danger or sinking or being under distress.”

“The bottom line is the installation is fine, the boat is fine and we’re up and running,” Hornig said. “The police department is a great collaborator with us on Light City, and we appreciate their prompt attention to make sure that everything is good to go tonight.”

Despite the multiple inches of rain on day one, Light City is still on, with performances kicking off at 5 p.m. Friday night.

“Drift” is one of 22 life-sized works dotting the Inner Harbor for the Light Art Walk. For an up-close look at some of the pieces, check out our photo preview.

Ethan McLeod
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