Here in Baltimore, we love a good, local tradition. And the Great Halloween Lantern Parade has become one of the best and most loved ones to be created in recent memory. The lantern parade began as a humble event—maybe 100 or so people in 1999. Molly Ross (founder of Nana Projects) was a puppeteer and artist freshly transplanted from Chicago when she initiated the first ever Baltimore Great Halloween Lantern Parade. At the time, there was no way she could have imagined the institution it would become—or the size that it would balloon to. These days, the parade has grown to attract thousands of people—and encompasses so much more than just a parade—but it’s still good for a crisp night outdoors, a rich feeling of community spirit, and a veritable pageant of costumes and creativity on display.
The 2013 Great Halloween Lantern Parade (and festival, these days) takes place in Patterson Park and is presented by the Creative Alliance. There will be all-day events, including hay rides, lantern-making workshops (make one the day-of, use it in the parade!), and more. The festival is free—and there will be artist installations all over the park—floats on the lake, projections on the ice rink bubble, and performances all along the parade route. Of course, local food trucks will also have installations of their own—selling delicious treats and eats to hungry haunters. There’s also a costume contest (of course), so just make sure you shine just as brightly as your lantern.
The 2013 Great Halloween Parade takes place this Saturday, October 26. The festival begins at 3:30pm. Parade lineup is at 6:30pm, and kickoff is at 7pm. Ends with Fire Finale at Pulaski Monument, Eastern & Linwood Aves, Patterson Park. Rain date Sun, Oct 27. For more info, visit www.creativealliance.org.
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