BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The stage is set and the lights have been hung.

The historic Washington Monument in Baltimore is ready to put on a show.

“This is really the start of the holiday season in Baltimore,” Mike Evitts said. “That’s how everyone in the neighborhood treats it.”

For the 48th year, the Downtown Partnership hosted the lighting ceremony. WJZ was there as they finished up the final touches.

“We’re just in setup mode and we’re waiting for the music and crowds to arrive,” Evitts said.

The park transformed into a holiday village with food and drinks and a surprise or two for the little ones.

“Santa’s chair just arrived,” Evitts said. “So we’ll have Santa and crafts for the kids with help from docents.”

Mayor Jack Young flipped the switch illuminating the 178.5-foot tall monument.

Timed with the lighting of the monument, the fireworks, upward of 2,500 of them, will be set off during a five-minute performance.

“It’s great,” Chief Pyrotechnician Rich Lanez said. “These things go up, they go tall, a lot higher than you would expect.”

The decorations will stay up through the new year.

Sean Streicher

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