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Glowing art, food and hands-on fun at Light City Baltimore

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is going to glow during the first ever Light City Baltimore — a free festival with illuminated art, entertainment and even food that lights up.

From March 28-April 3, light and music will fill the Inner Harbor area along with an innovative conference (for youth and adults). A 1.5-mile Light Art Walk will include 50 attractions, such as illuminated visual artworks, musical performances, street theater and concerts — all open to the public. Lighted art installations will be prominent along the Inner Harbor promenade, floating in the harbor and projected onto buildings.

Light City Baltimore 1 WKids can check out a 20-foot-tall lighted automated peacock, giant interactive circular pads of light, a rainbow-colored flotilla of lighted “paper” boats and much more. Thought-provoking works include an interactive projection about rising sea levels and something called “Luminous Intervention of Baltimore,” which uses animation, images and other effects to chronicle social concerns such as education, police violence and housing issues.

The walk officially opens on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. with the Light City Lantern Parade, which will include marching bands, stilt walkers and performers in lighted costumes.

Families can browse a Mini Light City in Pierces Park with hands-on, illuminated craft activities in a youth makers’ tent, children’s entertainers and whimsical snacks such as lighted cotton candy. A full roster of entertainers include dancers, magic, puppet shows, circus arts and even glow-in-the-dark hula hoops.

The festival will run Monday to Sunday, 7-11 p.m., with extended hours Friday and Saturday until midnight. Mini Light City will be open Monday through Sunday, 7-9 p.m. and Saturday until 10 p.m.

In conjunction with the evening festival, a daytime conference called Light City U will include a series of innovation events dedicated to the theme of “Powering Social Change.” During the six days, the conference will explore advances in social, health, sustainability and creative practices.

Middle and high school students are also encourage to sign up for the Bright Lights Youth Festival, a collection of free conferences and workshop opportunities to engage and inspire young people about social and creative innovation. The festival will take place Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Baltimore’s IMET Columbus Center. Young people ages 11-18 can register on Event Brite at brightlightsyouth.eventbrite.com. A full schedule is available by visiting www.lightcity.org/lcu/youth-sessions/.

For details and event schedules visit the Light City Baltimore website. lightcity.org.

By Betsy Stein

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