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Thousands Gather For Baltimore’s Washington Monument Lighting Ceremony

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fireworks, laser lights, music and food. The annual lighting of the Washington Monument brings revelers out in the cold.

Kai Jackson has all the holiday cheer.

The monument lighting is one of Baltimore’s premier community events, and this year’s ceremony did not disappoint.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joins her fellow Baltimoreans to ring in the 2012 holiday season.

The 41st annual lighting of the Washington Monument is a time-honored city tradition featuring spectacular fireworks and laser light show by Image Engineering.

Kai Jackson: “Rachael, have you ever been that close to fireworks?”
Rachael Lassahn: “No.”
Kai Jackson: “Was that cool or scary?”
Rachael Lassahn: “Cool and scary at the same time!”

It’s estimated that some 5,000 people turned out for the big event, including Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb.

“Today we went and got the tree and we started decorating it. I’m all into the Christmas spirit. This is my favorite month,” said Webb.

It’s the sights and sounds of the holiday season–Baltimore style. With vendors selling food, drinks and merchandise–city leaders say the lighting ceremony is also an economic boost for Mt. Vernon.

Kai Jackson: “What did you think?”
Robert Taylor: “It was awesome! It was amazing.”
Nicole McGlynn: “This is my favorite holiday event, I love it. It puts me in the holiday spirit.”

City Transportation Officials say everything should be back to normal by about midnight, so the roads will be reopened for the rush hour.

In Washington D.C., the National Christmas Tree is also lighting up the sky. The first family flipped the switch for the 90th annual event, and top musical acts played for the crowd. This year’s tree is a giant blue spruce.

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