BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The protests in Baltimore led right to Mount Vernon, where protestors overwhelmed the Washington Monument lighting.

Christie Ileto explains how those protests impacted the event.

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The program was shortened and the main attraction–the fireworks and the lights–started earlier.

A holiday staple–popular for bringing everyone together, lures more than families but also protestors to the annual monument lighting in Mount Vernon.

“With what happened in Ferguson and what happened in New York, I thought there was going to be some protestors,” said Emmett Hartlove.

“Hands up” was their peaceful message against police brutality that drowned out holiday cheer.

“So we had to shorten the program a little bit,” said Mike Evitts, Downtown Partnership.

Event organizers were concerned about two things–public safety and crowd control. And because of the protestors, some performers weren’t even able to take the stage.

“The fireworks still went off. Ss you can see, the monument is still lit,” said Evitts.

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The sky was illuminated with fireworks and the monument now bathes in lights.

“It’s bigger, bigger. We were just talking about the sparkles. The sparkles are bigger,” one woman said.

It was Ravens lineman Chris Canty’s second time helping light the monument.

“It’s really a staple for the holiday season. I’m just really excited to be a part of it,” he said.

The vendors were also a main attraction.

“All the different smells from all the different food. It’s just wonderful they have everything here,” said Roxanne Gordon.

For others, family time was the true meaning of this holiday-favorite event–one organizers say no protest can dull.

Local businesses were not impacted by the protests.

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