Book Festival and Light City bring new joy to Loyola students

Book Festival and Light City bring new joy to Loyola students

For students living in Baltimore, the city and all its charms inevitably become part of our experience. From restaurants and the historical landmarks, to Orioles and Ravens games, there is so much to love about our location. Another perk of being in Baltimore is our accessibility to the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City. 

The dates of the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City this year are Nov 1 through 10, 2019. This is a change from last year when the dates of the event were during the spring. The Brilliant Baltimore website says that “The festivals’ move to November in conjunction with the end of daylight savings will provide visitors with a greater opportunity to view the light art installations earlier in the evening and to engage more authors as most new books are being released in mid-autumn by publishers”. Although these two events did not always coincide, the Brilliant Baltimore website explains, “By uniting with Light City, the 24th annual Baltimore Book Festival will be the conference portion of the event addressing contemporary, innovative and historical issues through conversations, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and workshops”. The title, Brilliant Baltimore, is used as the theme of the festival. 

Light City originated in 2016, when partners throughout Baltimore joined the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) to create the event. It is a free, family friendly event, and although it is only in its fourth year, the event has gained lots of attention. The Brilliant Baltimore website emphasizes, “Light City, America’s first large-scale festival of art, music and innovation, is where Baltimore comes together and where the world comes to Baltimore”. It is truly an event the people and businesses of Baltimore enjoy and welcome. 

The Baltimore Book Festival is a literary celebration, featuring panels, cooking demonstrations, workshops, and performances. Tents line the walkway in Inner Harbor as authors and publishing companies eagerly introduce their work. It is a fantastic environment that encourages academic stimulation. A few of the authors featured at the festival include Carla Hall, a well-known author, as well as Karyn Parsons, an author and producer best known for her role as Hilary Banks on NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Loyola also had their own booth, which promoted the Loyola Apprentice House. 

Thanks to Loyola’s transportation services to and from the festival, all Loyola students have the opportunity to see the lights for themselves. Olivia Buchwald ‘23, a first year here at Loyola, was excited to show some friends the event. Buchwald “enjoyed bringing my friends who aren’t from Maryland to see the inner harbor when it looked really pretty with all of the lights. Also, the food stands were all good, especially the mini donuts.” Halle Kehl, also a first year at Loyola, echoed Olivia’s satisfaction. She said, “There were so many interactive light exhibits all along the harbor that lit up the streets. It was really cool to see all of the vendors set up and the band that was playing also. All around, the event had a really cool vibe to it” (Kehl, 2023).

Anyone who has been to the Light City and Baltimore Book Festival seem to agree it is worth seeing. This weekend is your last chance to see the exhibits, so try to catch a shuttle! Have no fear, however, if you can’t make it this year––you will have more chances next year.

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