Jacob and I never miss the lighting of the Washington Monument on North Charles Street. It's a December tradition.
The street party is all about great music. It's about the beginning of the real Christmas Season for us, and it's about good friends. It's all about Baltimore. And, fireworks... lots of fireworks.
The event also takes place in our extended front yard.
Every December for the past 39 years, people on Charles Street and the surrounding area have invited friends and neighbors to their homes and businesses to share food, drink, tell stories, and watch the event.
It's always fun. I enjoy watching the little kids look up in awe. I also enjoy watching the wide-eyed adults look up in awe and hum along or sing along with the music.
A couple of years ago Jacob and I were invited to a George Washington Monument lighting party at Engine Performance - the talent marketing agency - on Charles Street. We were invited by the owners, Scott Robertson and Ann Meade Daniel. They had a great mix of party people there that night: smart, clever, musical, driven, professional, successful, and multi-generational.
Scott poured the wine; Ann Meade was gracious and worked the room with EP project manager, Christine Lembo Hickey.
There were 20-somethings and septuagenarians at EP drinking, snacking, sharing memories, and telling stories of old Baltimore Christmases. It was a great time for all. When everyone headed out to Charles Street to watch the lighting and the fireworks, I watched the people - the older ones and the youngest ones - and made a comment to the group:
"It seems to me that there are two things that make all people look like innocent, little children... falling snow and shooting fireworks."
A gentleman reached over, gave me a hug, and said, "That's perceptive, that's so true. It's so, so true".
It was David Tarlow, the owner of Tarllow Furs. I'd only met him once before. Our prior meeting was when he was receiving an award at one of the Historic Charles Street Association's meetings. Mr. Tarlow and I talked at length later that night and that conversation was, for me, a great holiday gift of wisdom.
Come to Charles Street and enjoy the evening with us. We'll be there.
An Evening of Choir Performances, Strolling Entertainment, and More: Mount Vernon Place celebrates the holiday season with the 39th annual lighting of the Washington Monument.
A Monumental Occasion takes place Thursday, December 2 with pre-event festivities at 5:30pm in Mount Vernon. The ceremony begins at 7pm with the official lighting at approximately 7:20pm. The evening includes strolling entertainment and refreshments. The event ends with a colorful fireworks finale choreographed to music.
Special guest Elmo drops by to sing a song, and performer Kevin Clash and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake count down to the fireworks display. Joining the festivities are Baltimore City College High School Choir, Gilman Traveling Men, Institute of Notre Dame Choir, Morgan State University Choir and more!
A Monumental Occasion is coordinated by Downtown Partnership of Baltimore in conjunction with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Department of Recreation and Parks. The event is sponsored by Saul Ewing. Additional support provided by BGE and media sponsors WBAL-TV 11 and MIX 106.5.