About the Festival

What are the festival dates and times?
  • We look forward to welcoming guests from Friday, November 1-Sunday, November 10, 2019.
  • Friday, November 1-Sunday, November 3 - Festival Hours: 12-10pm.
  • Monday, November 4-Sunday, November 10 - Festival Hours: 5-10pm.
  • The Baltimore Book Festival literary marketplace (featuring more than 100+ exhibitors and booksellers along the harbor promenade) and literary stages (10 stages! 200+ authors) kick-off the festival's first weekend, November 1-3.
  • The Literary Salon stage at the USM Columbus Center (701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202) remains open with headline author appearances through Wednesday, November 6.
  • The works of light art will be fully illuminated every night starting around 6pm. Remember, daylight savings time ends at 2am on Sunday, November 2 so it gets darker earlier.
Where is the festival located?
  • The festival takes place along the waterfront at Baltimore's famed Inner Harbor, from the south wall (nearest landmark: Maryland Science Center, 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230) to Pier 5 (nearest landmark: Pier 5 Hotel, 711 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD).
  • This year, the magic of Light City spreads beyond downtown to 19 communities through our Neighborhood Lights initiative. Eight branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library glow with brilliance as they each host their own evening full of literature, light and culinary arts. In addition, thanks to the generosity of T. Rowe Price Foundation, 11 Baltimore neighborhoods will shine a spotlight on their unique charms - from parades and concerts to illuminated art and storytelling - you're invited to get out and about and experience all that Baltimore has to offer!
  • For a schedule of Neighborhood Lights Enoch Pratt Free Library events, click here
  • For a schedule of Neighborhood Lights Community Grants events and activations, click here
Is there an admission fee?

The festival is free and open to the public. 

New for 2019, exclusive ticketed events are available for festival-goers who want to enhance their experience. VIP passes to meet-and-greet your favorite celebrity authors are on sale now. Click here.  

What is there to eat and drink at the festival?

You can't have a great party without great food & drinks - especially here in Baltimore, one of Yelp's "Top 10 Cities for Food" in 2019. Enjoy the festival's curated menu, which includes local flavors-oysters and crab cakes, fall treats-kettle corn, hot cider, and pumpkin donuts, bites from around the world-crepes, steam buns and falafel, and plenty of libations to sip while you stroll. Festival-goers are also encouraged to dine at one of Baltimore's many wonderful restaurants, bars and taverns.

Where can visitors find information about accommodations?

Find details about Baltimore area hotels, restaurants, attractions and more at baltimore.org. 

Why did you combine the Festivals?

Uniting the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City provides benefits artistically, operationally and financially for BOPA and the City of Baltimore while meeting our mission to use the arts, in all forms, to create a more vibrant city. At the same time we provide an illuminating extended experience for residents and visitors—truly a win-win for everyone

What happens if there is inclement weather?

Brilliant Baltimore will take place rain or shine. In the event of dangerously inclement weather, the festival will temporarily close and guests will be asked seek indoor shelter inside until otherwise instructed.

How long does it take to see all the art?
  • To enjoy the full light art experience, and all 18 works of art, we recommend visiting the festival for at least two full nights.

    • Pro-Tip: if you’re visiting the festival with young children, and you only have one night to spend, we recommend focusing your visit on the western side of the festival, between the Maryland Science Center and Inner Harbor Ice Rink. Many interactive works of art are located in this zone, along with the Brilliant Baltimore Concert Stage and Big Wheel amusement.
Is there a family-friendly area and activities for kids?

Please! Touch the Art

  • The festival’s interactive light art installations encourage youngsters to get creative! Be sure to check out:

Radiant Flux

Waterlight Graffiti


The Canopy


Human Tiles

Behind Façades

Where Pathways Meet

Between The Lines



Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage, November 1-3

  • The Enoch Pratt Free Library Children's Stage features interactive programs for the whole family, with popular local and nationally known authors of books for children and teens. Staff will be available all weekend for library card sign-ups to start your journey at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. You're Free to Bmore #atthepratt. The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s mission is to provide equal access to information, services, and opportunities that empower, enrich, and enhance the quality of life for all. 

Charm City Comic Pavilion, November 1-3

  • Charm City Comic Pavilion, programmed by Artway Alliance, whose mission is to teach students of various ages and artistic backgrounds how to create and market their original ideas for characters and stories with the help of Independent and Mainstream Artists and Writers in the industry.


Kids City is where literature and light unite with youth-focused interactive crafts, demonstrations, readings and more! Kids City showcases education and entertainment, with programming from a variety of organizations.

Where: Kaufman Pavilion, along the South Shore Promenade
Dates / Times: Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3 from 12-10pm; Monday, November 4 through Sunday, November 10 from 5-10pm

Activities and Performances Include:
Hands-on activities, workshops, and crafts themed around literature and light. Special thanks to Brilliant Baltimore’s Kids City Programming Partners:

Baltimore City Public Schools – Early Learning Programs

BUGGS and IMET – Baltimore Underground Science Space & Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

Historic Ships in Baltimore

Author Janella McRae

Artist Kelly White

Imagination Ball - Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 from 7-10pm. Step into another world, explore STEAM activities, create, and dance! Cosplay welcome: wear a futuristic outfit and party with

Angelo & Marie’s Fantastic Bubble Show (Friday, November 1, Saturday, November 2, and Sunday, November 3 from 2-8pm daily) Angelo and Marie's Fantastic Bubble Show uses and displays a variety of brilliantly illuminated bubble wands and bubble stations for a fantastic bubble show for both day and night!

What is there to do for teens?

Check out Teenscene, Brilliant Baltimore’s meet up zone for youth and young adults, come experience interactive light art installations, DJ demos and workshops, open mic, dance parties and more!

Where: Kaufman Pavilion, along the South Shore Promenade
Dates / Times: Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3 from 12-10 pm; Monday, November 4 through Sunday, November 10 from 5-10 pm

Activities and Performances Include:

Experience BIG VIBE DANCE PARTY with Mr. 14th. Wear your light-up gear, and get your glow on… Let’s Dance! Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 10 from 5-10 pm

DJ Demos and Workshops. Learn new skills with award-winning DJ Trillnatured, and show Baltimore how you shine. Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3 from 12-5 pm

Alanah Nichole’s Brilliant Baltimore Cypher on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3 from 3-5 pm. Join Alanah Nichole for a family-friendly, youth and young adult open mic. Sign up begins at 2:45pm. Bring your favorite poem, song, dance or rap to the stage and share your light!

Have a question not answered here?

About the Venue

Are there ATMs at the festival?

Temporary ATMs are located throughout the festival, near most food and beverage concession stands.

Are there public restrooms at the festival?
Temporary restrooms are located throughout the festival at Rash Field, West Shore Park, and outside the Baltimore Visitor Center. Accessible bathrooms are available at each location. View the festival map for more details.
Will there be Wifi?

The Inner Harbor Wi-Fi Project now allows Baltimore City residents and tourists visiting the Inner Harbor to access free Wi-Fi service along the promenade—from Rusty Scupper to the west side of the World Trade Center.

Is there Lost and Found at the festival?

Call Festival Headquarters at 443.831.3135 for assistance with lost and found items. Post-Festival, festival-goers looking for lost items should call BOPA’s main office at 410.752.8632. BOPA is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Where can I go for First Aid?

For minor first aid services, visit Guest Services at located at the at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater. For non-emergency medical assistance, call Festival Headquarters at 443.831.3135. Direct all emergencies to 911.


Contact Us!

View the 2019
Accessibility Guide