Light City Has Officially Begun The week long street fair is well worth the trip.

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Two centuries ago Baltimore became the first American city to shine with gas lanterns. Flash forward to today and Baltimore is the first city to light up with a large scale light festival. Light City has officially begun and it’s well worth the trip down to the Inner Harbor. Performance art, circus acts, street performers, live music and life-size light installations are decorating the harbor promenade (and some neighborhoods) now through Sunday.

Last night, a parade—complete with local marching bands and otherworldly lanterns commissioned by the Creative Alliance—ushered in the first annual event. Brooks Long and the No Good Mad Dog rocked from the Club Light City Stage while Bosley held it down on the Harbor East stage. You can catch free concerts at both all week long. Throngs of people wandered up and down the Harbor taking in the artful spectacle.

Members of the 21 and over crowd were carrying cups of beer, wine or the event’s specialty electric blue cocktail made with Van Gogh gin. There’s a flashing light playground near the World Trade Center, prisms near the Pier V hotel big enough to stand in, gorgeous glowing boats in the harbor that caught everyone’s breath—this writer included—who happened upon them and more spreading across the Inner Harbor and leaking into Harbor East.

The night, a little chilly due to wind, still managed to be spirited and lively. This is certainly the start of something big. Here’s our top picks for the rest of the week.

The Art Walk

All of the bright and massive light installations are a part of the detailed Art Walk. Must-see attractions: The Beacon (you can’t miss it), the Diamonds (cue Rihanna’s croon), the Blue Hour pillars (and no, it’s not just because they’re installed by a beer and food vendor), Light Wave: Baltimore’s Beacon (points for a crazy selfie with this one) and the Human Effect (don’t let the long line intimidate you).

Club Light City Stage

This week you can catch a slew of deejays, including the renowned DJ Jazzy Jeff this Thursday. Tonight, TT the Artist takes to the stage. Tomorrow: DJ Dhundee and Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation) DJ set. Thursday: Baltimore nightlife staple, DJ Tanz. Friday: Subtle Hustle and Elm. Saturday: Dan Deacon. For a complete line up list check it out here.

The Concert Stage at Harbor East

The Harbor East stage will host an assortment of musical acts ranging from ambient to funk to pop/rock. Tonight: Saving Apollo and John Somers.  Tomorrow: Marc Miller and blues artist Tom Principato. Thursday: Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra and Wordsmith. Friday: The Bridge Ensemble and R&B artists the Palovations. Saturday: rock group Red Sammy and classical act Symphony Number One.

Light Up the Night! Stage

A lot of the performance art pieces will be take place here like Single Carrot’s “Ballet Ballistique,” Fluid Movement: Hydroprismecho [Chamber], the Amazing Traveling Light and Shadow Circus and “What was in darkness must be revealed to Light: Confessions of a City: A Speak n Spin.”

For a complete list of events and more info check out their site here!

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