BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Get ready Baltimore and mark your calendars, the Light City Festival will be making its triumphant return this spring, with this year’s production expected to outshine last year’s festival.
The first Light City was such a success that it has now been expanded to include more neighborhoods, entertainment, and of course, more lights.
In its inaugural year, Light City, the nation’s first large-scale light, music, and innovation festival, managed to illuminate Baltimore’s inner harbor and surpass all expectations.
The festival attracted 400,000 visitors to the area, and raked in nearly $34 million in economic impact for Baltimore.
“The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts promises to make Light City 2017 even bigger, brighter, and bolder,” said festival director Kathy Hornig.
With the second-annual Light City Baltimore just over two months away. organizers are promising to wow the crowds with more than 50 concerts, 125 illuminated performances, and light art displays.
The fun may also turn into funds for local businesses.
Harbor east eatery, Gordon Biersch, saw a 40 percent jump in customers during Light City 2016.
“Last year it was one of our best weeks. It actually broke our top 10 of all time.” said Justin Shunkwyler, GM for Gordon Biersch.
The festival is expanding to nine nights across two weekends – from March 31 through April 8 – and will extend to eight neighborhoods.
The festival will be lighting up Hampden, Hamilton-Lauraville, Station North, Little Italy, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Waverly, Sandtown-Winchester, and Greater Mondawmin.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase our city to bring press from around the nation to look at Baltimore and to see it in a different light,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
“This year, I kind of know what to expect a little bit more, so I’ll be better staffed and prepared for it that way,” said Shunkwyler. “But we’re ready for it and we’re really excited to have it again this year.”
All of the activities are free and open to the public. Light City will open and close with a bang, by holding a parade on the first night and a fireworks show for the festival finale.