BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two Baltimore festivals are about to become one.

Light City was always staged in April, and the Baltimore Book Festival in September. The plan is to increase both their drawing power “By combining the literary brilliance of the Baltimore Book Festival with the luminous glow of Light city,” said BOPA CEO Donna Drew Sawyer.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) announced Thursday it is uniting the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City.

WJZ’s Denise Koch hosted the announcement, and as part of our community connection, WJZ is the media sponsor for Light City, which drew 400,000 visitors this year. The book festival brought in 100,000.

The two events will come together for one festival from November 1-10 in 2019 to create ten days of a “one-of-a-kind international event at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor,” a release from BOPA said Thursday.

“Uniting the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City provides benefits artistically, operationally and financially for BOPA and the City of Baltimore while meeting our mission to use the arts, in all forms, to create a more vibrant city. At the same time we provide an illuminating extended experience for residents and visitors- truly a win-win for everyone,” said Sawyer.

BOPA said the festivals will move to November in conjunction with the end of daylight savings time.

“Just to have both of those events down at the Inner Harbor at the same time, all I can say is ‘Wow’,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

The move also comes in response to visitors to the Light City Festival.

“It’s going to be a lot darker in November then it was in April,” said Kathy Hornig. “We’re going to have the lights on in the five’o’clock hour. We heard loud and clear from families and folks who were downtown that they wanted to come see the light art, but having it at 8 p.m. was too late for them,”

The Baltimore Book Festival will be the conference portion of the event with Q7A sessions, panel discussions, and workshops.

Applications for performing artists, food vendors, booksellers, exhibitors, and presenting authors open January 9 for all of BOPA’s 2019 festivals- Artscape, Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival.

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