BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The city is counting down to the annual monument lighting in Mount Vernon in a celebration that attracts thousands every year.

The holiday village surrounding the monument opened at 5 p.m. Thursday, attracting more than 10,000 people to kick off the winter season in Baltimore.

Baltimore Washington Monument Will Light Up The City Thursday Night

The lights have been hung on the monument with care for a festive Baltimore tradition.

“It’s the centerpiece of our city, you can see it from so many different places around town,” said Megan Isennock of the Downtown Partnership. “so we really feel it’s a beacon for everyone in the city to come join us.”

What started off as a small gathering, the monument lighting has become an annual celebration that brings together more than 10,000 friends, neighbors, and strangers to share a magical evening.

“First year, 47 years ago, there were just a few neighbors,” said Isennock. “now it’s grown to this amazing event, we love helping Baltimore kick off the holiday season.”

A full list of local entertainers will be helping to spread the cheer, along with a holiday village featuring 40 vendors offering delicious food, drinks, and unique crafts, all surrounding the centerpiece, is draped with 8,400 lights that will turn on during a festive fireworks display.

“It’s going to be amazing,” said Pyrotechnician, Corey Grucci. “it’s going to be one of the best years yet. This year we actually incorporated some angles into the show, not just full 90 degree, but also 180 angle as well.”

A spectacular festival honoring Baltimore’s Washington Monument, towering 178-feet in the center of the city, illuminating Baltimore during the most wonderful time of the year.

“The restoration was incredible,” said Isennock. “it happened a few years ago so we’re really proud of that.”

The lighting and fireworks show starts just before 8 p.m. Thursday. The monument will be lit up through the new year.

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