By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A huge crowd welcomed the holiday season with the lighting of the Washington Monument.

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. flipped the switch for the 45th year of the city celebration.

“Baltimore has its own special character, and we are very proud. Instead of the traditional tree lighting, we light up the Washington Monument,” said Mike Evitts, with the Downtown Partnership.

What started nearly half a century ago with neighbors has evolved into a magical night, connecting thousands.

“I thought it was amazing,” one visitor said.

“It was great. Really nice time,” said another.

“This puts me in the holiday spirit. I’m ready for some eggnog,” a third visitor said.

The list of entertainers included The Baby Beats with Max & Root.

“I love Baltimore and the authenticity of the city is amazing so I love doing anything that contributes to the beauty,” said Jamal Mr. Root Collier, Baby Beats with Max & Root.

There was also a holiday village, with more than 30 vendors with food, drinks and crafts, along with Santa.

“Having everyone one here in this neat moment, it just celebrates how important this is in our city’s life,” said Lance Humphries, Mt. Vernon Place Conservancy.

The lights will remain up until New Years Eve.

  1. This years ceremony will be titled……SHOOT UNTIL THEY’RE ALL DEAD. What a Christmas!

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