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Free world-class light show coming to Baltimore

The seven-day festival is free.

You won't have to travel to London, Singapore or Sydney, Australia to see a world-class light art show.

You'll just have to drive about an hour to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the city's inaugural Light City festival.

Visitors will see a variety of pieces, such as "The Pool" by Boulder, Colo. artist Jen Lewin. It  features a series of concentric circles on a pad that people can jump on and play leapfrog to change the colors and the patterns of light, festival director Kathy Hornig said. Lewin's piece has been on display internationally, including Sydney.The seven-night festival, which starts Monday, March 28, will feature a 1.5 mile art walk along the Inner Harbor to Harbor East. It is free.

Another piece, "Peacock," is a colorful, animatronic bird that will open its feathers and stand about 20-feet tall. Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller of Baltimore are the creators.

A majority of the pieces of art are or have been created locally in the Baltimore area, Hornig said.

The works incorporate art, technology, and innovation. Some also explore issues, such as rising sea levels and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

The event will help to shine a positive light on the city, Hornig said.

"It is not to be missed," she said.

Laser lotus flower

A lotus flower that floats on the water in the harbor will bloom before visitors' eyes. "Laser Lotus" is being created by Nisha Ramnath of Baltimore and Brian Gonzalez of Tallahassee, Florida.

"It's just a beautiful piece to look at," Ramnath said.

She said the flower will start closed, will bloom and then will close back up. It will be about 20 feet in diameter and more than 8 feet high when it is open. It incorporates about "60 laser diodes that are red, blue and green," and "they mix to create the colors of the petals," Ramnath said. Visitors will be able to use 12 touch pads to interact with the piece.

Those touch pads will be used to help get a message across.

The more people that are active in a community, the more vibrant it is, Ramnath said.

Film display

"1,001 LUX" is a vertical tier of three video programs that show all different sources of light — both natural and manmade — and it includes snippets from films, such as "Star Wars," "Die Hard" and "Lord of the Rings," said creator Symmes Gardner of Baltimore. The different sources of light include light emanating from the moon, light on water, neon light and candle light. It is intended to make people think about light and how they interact with it.

He had created a shorter version of the work years ago, but he has added to the piece for Light City.

"It should be fun," he said of the festival.

Live music

In addition to seeing the vibrant works of art, visitors can enjoy a variety of free music — everything from classical to rock to hip-hop to electronic. Two stages will offer performances during the event. One of the performers will be DJ Jazzy Jeff, a hip-hop/ R&B producer and turntable artist. Many will likely remember when he worked with Will Smith years ago as "DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince." DJ Jazzy Jeff is set to perform at 10 p.m. March 31.

If you go

What: Light City Baltimore festival

When: March 28 through April 3

Hours: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (open until midnight on Friday and Saturday)

Where: Inner Harbor to Harbor East 

Cost: Free 

About: The inaugural festival will feature a 1.5-mile walk with 50 attractions, including illuminated artwork, street theater, musical performances and concerts. Visitors will see artwork — including interactive displays and ones  -- made by local, national and international artists. The event also will include food and drink from local Baltimore establishments.

Tips: Download the free Light City mobile app. It will help you plan your trip in advance. Also reserve a parking space for your visit at

For more information: Visit; Light City Baltimore on Facebook or @LightCityBmore on Twitter and Instagram