Monument Lighting 2017
This is the first holiday season in a while that I’ve really embraced with open arms. There’s a lot of bad stuff going on, here at home and in the nation and around the world. It can wear you down. So this year, I’m noticing that the traditions that I’ve grumbled about before—crowded events, crowded stores, um, crowds—don’t seem that bad. On the contrary, they feel like cheery, red and green anchors. In that same spirit, I’ll be taking my family to this year’s Monument Lighting event—it’s the 46th one, according to the good folks at Downtown Partnership. There will be live performances, fireworks, food and drinks, and an appearance from Mayor Catherine Pugh. 5-8 p.m., Mount Vernon Place, 699 Washington Place, godowntownbaltimore.com, free. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
Baltimore Chanukah Festival. Baltimore observes the beginning of Chanukah with the lighting of Maryland’s largest menorah plus live music, kids’ activities, and a kosher food truck. Dec. 12, 3 p.m., McKeldin Square, Inner Harbor, baltimorechanukahfestival.com, free.
Christmas Village. The annual German Christmas market features international holiday gifts alongside a big holiday tree, German food, performers, and more. Through Dec. 24, Inner Harbor, 501 Light St., baltimore-christmas.com, outdoor area free throughout run, heated festival tent free on weekdays and opening weekend, $5 for adults 18 and up remaining weekend days ($1 on Dec. 9 and 10), free for kids under 18.
Holiday Party for the Homeless. People experiencing homelessness are invited to a safe and sober holiday party complete with a holiday feast, live entertainment, and door prizes. Funds for the party can be donated to gofundme.com/holiday-party-for-the-homeless-2017 and donated winter items and toiletries can be left at specified drop-off locations. Dec. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 1 W. Hamilton St., free.
Kwanzaa Celebration 2017. Celebrate Kwanzaa and African heritage with traditional African dance and music performances, crafts, storytelling, and a keynote lecture with Kwanzaa founder Dr. Malauna Karenga. Dec. 30, noon-4 p.m. (lecture at 12:30 p.m.), Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, lewismuseum.org, $5 special admission.
Miracle on 34th Street. Hampden beams with impressive decorations and festive light displays on view for the 71th year. Through January 1, 700 block of 34th St., christmasstreet.com, free.
Monument Lighting Celebration. Enjoy family-friendly performances, music, refreshments, and festive art activities while escaping the cold during the Washington Monument Lighting Ceremony. Dec. 7, 5-7:30 p.m., Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410)547-9000, thewalters.org, free.
O’Donnell Square Lamp Post Lighting Ceremony. Canton celebrates the holidays with a special ceremony, now in its 11th year, plus holiday drinks, lamp post and storefront decoration contests, the arrival of Santa Claus, a homebrew competition, and more. Proceeds benefit the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation. Dec. 8, 5-9 p.m., O’Donnell Square Park, 2917 O’Donnell St., smalltimoreevents.com, free admission.
Rock the Dock Family Holiday Bash. Strolling entertainment, Santa, pony rides, crafts, gingerbread cookie decorating, and a hot cocoa bar. Dec. 9, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Power Plant Live, 34 Market Place, itsawaterfrontlife.org, free.
The Ugly Sweater Run. Run a 5k in your most hideous holiday sweater, followed by post-event festivities. Dec. 16, 9 a.m., Rash Field, 201 Key Highway, theuglysweaterrun.com/locations/baltimore-maryland, $25, free for kids ages 5 and under.
Windup’s Junxmas Grabbag. The Windup Space hosts a holiday junkfood potluck with performances by local artists and drink specials. Dec. 22, 8:30 p.m., The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave., (410) 244-8855, thewindupspace.com, no cover (bring junk food to share).
2017 Youth Holiday Sale
As the cover story for our second-ever issue, Rebekah Kirkman detailed the programs and people behind Baltimore Youth Arts (BYA), which provides a platform for youth to create and sell art in Baltimore, particularly for young people who are in or transitioning out of the justice system. Through her story we met young artists like Kendrick, who does graphic design work as well as intuitive abstract paintings, and Daydrin, a fashion designer in the making, among other talented youth involved in the program. I’ve seen artwork put out by BYA in person, and I can tell you from my high-horse art critic perspective (for whatever it’s worth) that it’s often the most engaging and honest art you’ll find anywhere. At BYA’s first holiday sale, which doubles as the BYA Gallery and Store grand opening, you can meet the artists and browse and buy their art, as well as gifts from other local youth vendors like the teen-run Beast Grrl Collective, which regularly puts out excellent feminist zines, and Lemontopia Baltimore, a youth-run lemonade stand and dessert bar. Noon-4 p.m., Baltimore Youth Arts, 116 W. Mulberry St., bmoreyoutharts.org. (Maura Callahan)
Baltimore Vintage Flea Holiday Sip & Shop. Over 50 of the area’s top vintage vendors offer their wares, clothing, furniture, and more alongside libations from R. House. Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., R. House, 301 W. 29th St., (443) 347-3570, facebook.com/baltimorevintageflea, free admission.
Black Business Bazaar. Support local black entrepreneurs and shop beauty and health goods, food, apparel, and services at a bazaar presented by Baltimore Racial Justice Action. Dec. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m., American Brewery, 1701 N. Gay St., bmoreantiracist.org, free admission (donations accepted).
Bmore Into Comics Issue #16. Shop for the comics lovers in your life as local creators show, sell, and talk about their work alongside a free comic book library and drink specials all day. Dec. 16, 1-7 p.m., The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave., bmoreintocomics.com, free admission.
City Arts Holiday Market. Shop homemade goods, small crafts, and more from vendor artists from City Arts 1 and 2. 1-4 p.m., Cafe at City Arts 2, 1700 Greenmount Ave., (443) 873-3500, facebook.com/GalleryCA, free admission.
Current Space 5th Annual Art Market. Purchase art and handmade goods from artists Monique Crabb, Elena Johnston, Anna Crooks, Lisa Krause, Shelby Rose, Whitney Simpkins, Zoe Friedman, and more. Dec. 16, noon-6 p.m., Current Space, 421 N. Howard St., (410) 343-9295, currentspace.com, free admission.
Handmade Holiday: Youth Edition. The Living Well’s 10th annual holiday market focuses on young entrepreneurs and features local vendors, opportunities to participate in fitness classes, and a Photo Salon for family portraits with Fluffy Pop Postcards. Dec. 17, noon-6 p.m., The Living Well Center, 235 Holliday St., (410) 212-5953, livewellbemore.com, free admission.
Holiday Heap. Charm City Craft Mafia’s 11th annual holiday market highlights over 50 independent craft vendors. Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Space 2640, 2640 St. Paul St., charmcitycraftmafia.com, free admission ($25 for 9 a.m. early bird access plus breakfast treats and coffee from Dooby’s, swag bag, coupons, and more).
Holistic Holiday Pop-Up Market. Purchase sustainable and holistic products from local artists, craftspeople, food/beverage makers. Proceeds from the vendor fees and a raffle will benefit The Black Male Yoga Initiative. Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Mount Vernon Marketplace, 520 Park Ave., (443) 796-7393, mountvernonmarketplace.com, free admission.
Ideal Arts Holiday Pop-Up Markets. Shop vintage and handmade goods from 20-40 vendors each show. Dec. 9 and 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., The Ideal Arts Space, 905 W. 36th St., (443) 529-5937, theidealartsspace.com, free admission.
Last Stop Hops & Shop. Grab last-minute gifts from over 20 local artists and artisans alongside food from Dizzy Cow Pizzeria and brews from Peabody Heights Brewery. Dec. 21, 5-9 p.m., Peabody Heights Brewery, 401 E. 30th St., charmcitycraftmafia.com, free admission.
Motor House Holiday Art Sale & Coat Drive. Shop art and goods from Motor House resident artists (including Joyce J. Scott, Larry Poncho Brown, Espi Frazier, and more), hand-selected craftspeople, and other vendors; and bring a gently used coat to donate to those in need. Dec. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 637-8300, motorhousebaltimore.com, free admission.
Post Typography Print & Poster Sale. The local graphic design firm opens its studio doors to sell limited edition prints, posters, books, music, and apparel for Dan Deacon, Future Islands, Double Dagger, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maryland Film Festival, and much more. Dec. 16, noon-4 p.m., Post Typography, 2219 St. Paul St., posttypography.com, free admission.
School 33 Holiday Art Market. Meet School 33’s resident artists in their studios and purchase artworks priced between $10-$200. Participating artists include Tiffany Jones, Lauren Lyde, Mary Baum, Amber Eve Anderson, Lynn Cazabon, Sylvie van Helden, Megan Lewis, Webster Phillips, Plum Rabbit Print Shop, and Jtbeezwax (aka Jermaine T. Bell, who designed this week’s Baltimore Beat cover). Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., (443) 263-4350, school33.org, free admission.
Supersized Holiday Makers Market. Enjoy music, dance performances, food, and drinks while shopping gifts from local craftpeople, artists, and businesses. Dec. 17, noon-6 p.m., Downtown Cultural Arts Center, 401 N. Howard St., (410) 837-2787, artistscompound.com, free admission
Dance For Peace Christmas Party
It is good to know that after the long, slow, but still tragic death of the historic Paradox nightclub (though with that death comes the resurrection of Hammerjack’s; we’ll see how that plays out), house hasn’t exactly gone anywhere—just shifted around to other venues (see also Teddy Douglass’ recent events at the Rockwell). All of which is to say that the vibes that Ultra Naté and Lisa Moody onced brought via their party, Deep Sugar, to the Dox will be present at this holiday event at Baltimore Soundstage (for what it’s worth, the Soundstage is the place for cathartic, queer-friendly holiday events, it seems; John Waters’ Christmas one-man show is there on Dec. 19). So yes, enjoy Christmas and ask for peace all set to the throbbing 4/4 beat of house music with Ultra and Lisa along with DJ Wayne Davis (former owner of the Dox), tech house duo the Elders, and Jersey house vocalist Kenny Bobien. 6 p.m., Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com, $12-$15. (Brandon Soderberg)
Boister Annual Solstice Concert. Led by composer/keyboardist Anne Watts, local chamber-pop band Boister plays its annual holiday concert, this year with two performances. Dec. 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m., An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St., (410) 385-2638, andiemusiklive.com, $10-$18.
Charm City Klezmer Holiday Dance Party. Featuring husband and wife team Judith Geller and Michael Raitzyk along with their young kids and other Baltimore musicians, Charm City Klezmer performs lively holiday music with roots in Jewish East European culture. Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, $15-$21.
Christmas With the Urban Choral Arts Society. Led by Maestro Ronald McFadden, the Urban Choral Arts Society performs holiday spirituals, carols, gospel, and more. Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St., UrbanChoralArts.org, $10.
Eze Jackson’s Dirty Christmas 3. Rapper Eze Jackson returns to Metro Gallery for his third annual holiday show with support from Bobbi Rush, Josh Stokes, DJ Excel, and host Love The Poet; plus an ugly sweater contest with a $100 prize. Dec. 29, 10 p.m., Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net, $10.
FAM Winter Solstice Celebration. Holy Mountaineers (featuring members of Telesma), Asa Kurland (of Slow Lights), Conor Brendan and the Wild Hunt, Archie Jamieson, Justina Prince, Seth Milder, and more perform. Dec. 22, 8 p.m., Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net, $10.
Home for the Holidays. Joined by soprano Alison Buchanan, the Baltimore School for the Arts Chorus, and the tap-dancing Santas, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs holiday favorites. Dec. 16, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Dec. 17, 3 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $17.50-$75.
KIX-mas. The Hagerstown hair metal heroes return for their annual holiday show with support from Cinder Road. Dec. 23, 9 p.m., Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131, ramsheadlive.com, $27.50.
Mix 106.5’s Mistletoe Meltdown. Fergie, Alex and Zack of All Time Low, and School of Rock Baltimore perform. Dec. 14, 8 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., mix1065fm.radio.com, $45-$75.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. The Moscow Ballet brings their rendition of Tchaikovsky’s ballet back to Baltimore on their 25th Anniversary Tour. Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Dec. 16, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Hippodrome Theater, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400, france-merrickpac.com, $47-$140.
93.1 WPOC Acoustic Christmas. Country sing-songwriter Lee Brice performs holiday favorites. Dec. 13, 8 p.m., Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131, ramsheadlive.com, $19.99.
Sing-Along Messiah. Join the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in singing Handel’s holiday oratorio “Messiah.” Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, (410) 523-7070, baltimorechoralarts.org, $25.
33rd Annual Merry Tuba Christmas. Area tuba players gather to honk Christmas tunes at the Inner Harbor for the 33rd year straight. Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m., Harborplace Amphitheater, 200 E. Pratt St., free.
Stoop Storytelling presents Breaking with Tradition: Stories about Unconventional Holidays
The holidays are a time for catching up with family and letting them know what you’ve been up to since the last time you saw each other. It’s a yearly event that can be frustrating, hilarious, and encouraging all at once. We here at The Beat, for example, plan on spending our holidays explaining to our relatives the story of this start-up paper we’re working on. Being reporters, we’re already into the theme of storytelling, so it made sense that we sponsored this special holiday edition of Stoop Storytelling, where everyday folks go onstage to recount their not-so-usual holiday experiences. Get there early for cocktails (good drinks and good stories go hand-in-hand) and live music, and come by our table to say hi. Then stick around after the show for an unconventional holiday movie. Cocktails and music at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m., movie at 9 p.m., The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, stoopstorytelling.com, $20. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
Awkward Sex in the City presents Jingle Balls. Four women comics and one dude comic recount their most embarrassing holiday sexual experiences on stage. Baltimore’s own Samantha Kelly opens. Dec. 8, 8 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, $15-$21.
A Burl-eoke Heauxliday. The holidays get naughty at this audience-interactive combination karaoke-burlesque game show. Dec. 9, 8 p.m., The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore, $10.
BWC Presents Gin and Jokes xxiii: Holiday Jeers. The Baltimore Whiskey Company and Joe Squared present a special holiday edition of their stand-up showcase. Dec. 7, 9 p.m., Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 545-0444, holidayjeers.brownpapertickets.com, $5.
“A Christmas Carol.” Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brings back its annual Baltimore-set adaption of Charles Dickens’ holiday morality tale. Dec. 8-23, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St., (410) 244-8570, chesapeakeshakespeare.com, $19-$65.
Cirque de la Symphonie Holiday Spectacular. Cirque de la Symphonie joins forces with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for a musical showcase of acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, balancers, strongmen, and aerialists. Dec. 22, 8 p.m.; Dec. 23, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $17.50-$79.
Comedy Cantonese. Magooby’s Joke House invites audience to participate in the Jewish tradition of gorging on Chinese food and Jewish humor on Christmas Eve. Marc Unger headlines. Dec. 24, buffet served at 7:30, show at 8:30 p.m., Magooby’s Joke House, 9603 Deereco Road, (410) 252-2727, magoobys.com, $30 for show only, $40 for show plus Chinese buffet (plus $5 for kosher).
A John Waters Christmas. Baltimore’s own Pope of Trash returns for his annual Christmastime monologue. Dec. 19, 8 p.m., Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com, $44-$49.50.
Let Them Eat Yule Log: A Holiday Cirque Show. In the Dark Circus Arts presents a special holiday circus show featuring performances by skilled acrobats. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Mobtown Ballroom, 861 Washington Blvd., inthedarkcircusarts.com, $27 for matinee, $35 for evening.
Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” The Ballet Theater of Maryland presents their version of the grand ballet accompanied by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 23, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 685-5086, modell-lyric.com, $19-$54.
1988’s “Die Hard” has become the go-to Christmas-not-Christmas movie (deservedly so) for so long now that I think it’s high time we just declare it a Christmas movie good and proper. I mean, it’s got all the things you need out of a Christmas movie: It’s set during the holidays (during a Christmas Eve holiday party, German terrorists take over the office building of the wife of NYPD Det. John McClane—played by Bruce Willis), it’s heartwarming (a scrappy dude who is kind of a fuck-up saves the day and tries to reconnect with his wife), and it’s a little melancholy like all the great Christmas movies. Since we’re electing “Die Hard” as an official Christmas movie now, here are my recommendations for the next wave of Christmas-not-Christmas movies: “Cobra” and “Silent Partner.” Oh also, this is an interactive screening of “Die Hard” so come ready to shout the lines at the screen with your fellow die hard “Die Hard” lovers and come early and chat. The screening begins at 8 p.m. but you should get there around 7 p.m. to mingle, you know? 7 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, $12. (Brandon Soderberg)
Holiday Double Feature: “Home Alone” and “Die Hard.” The Parkway screens Chris Columbus’ Christmas comedy and John McTiernan’s holiday action flick back to back. Dec. 18, “Home Alone” at 7 p.m., “Die Hard” at 9:30 p.m., The Parkway Theatre, 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com, $10 for individual screening or $16 for double.
Holiday Double Feature: “Scrooged” and “Bad Santa” (uncut). Bill Murray and Billy Bob Thornton serve up holiday curmudgeonliness. Dec. 18, “Scrooged” at 7:15 p.m., “Bad Santa” at 9:30 p.m., The Parkway Theatre, 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com, $10 for individual screening or $16 for double.
“It’s A Wonderful Life” Screening and Food Drive. Bring non-perishable food items to benefit the GEDCO CARES food pantry and catch a free screening of Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Dec. 23, 10 a.m., The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, (410) 323-4424, senatortheatre.com, free.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Noisem, Chepang, Blame God, Nightfear, Bandit
Obligation is bad, and is there any day that feels more obligatory than New Year’s Eve? I mean, you have to like, have fun, which means it’s not fun anymore actually—but you also have to do something or you’ll feel a uniquely existential kind of FOMO. One thing to do is not go to something that feels tied to NYE so much, such as this show, which would be fun any day of the year and will be only enhanced by the convivial atmosphere of Dec. 31. And this year was especially rough, so saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming the new year at Sidebar with Baltimore’s own Noisem—one of the best metal groups around—and a crew of other heavy, out of town bands (Chepang, Blame God, Nightfear, and Bandit), plus DJ Sad Mountain, and hey, it’s all-ages, so bring the kids or your cool teen cousin or something and let them rage. 8 p.m., 218 E. Lexington St., (410) 659-4130, thesidebar.com, $6. (Brandon Soderberg)
BROS New Year’s Eve at the Ottobar: Sinners and Saints. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society hosts New Year’s Eve at the Ottobar once again with a lineup of sound and spectacle from BROS artists. Dec. 31, 9 p.m., The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, theottobar.com, $20.
Big Night Baltimore. Countdown to the new year in multiple party rooms and dance floors complete with food buffets, open bars, live music and DJ sets, and more. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Radisson Hotel, 101 W. Fayette St., bignightbaltimore.com, $89.99-$189.99.
Midnight Noon. Kids can celebrate early with a noontime ball drop, crafts, access to the Science Center’s exhibits, and a performance by Grammy-nominated kids’ band Milkshake—so you can tuck them in early and do your own thing. Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-2370, mdsci.org, free with paid admission/membership.
Motown New Year’s Eve 1968. DJs Landis Expandis (Skintight) and Rob Macy (Save Your Soul) spin Motown favorites and The Belvederes play live soul covers to celebrate the end of 2017. Dec. 31, 8:30 p.m.-3 a.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, $30-$38.
New Years Eve at La Cuchara. Chef Ben Lefenfeld serves up a seasonal Basque prix fixe menu plus wine pairings and 50 percent off all bottles over $100. Dec. 31, 5 p.m.-midnight, La Cuchara, 3600 Clipper Mill Road Suite 125, (443) 708-3838, lacucharabaltimore.com, $89 for prix fixe, plus $29 for wine pairings (per person, plus tax and gratuity.
New Year’s Eve at Metro Gallery with Black Rose. Thin Lizzy tribute band Black Rose marks the new year with support from Black Lung, Murder, Alms, and Psycho Therapy DJs, plus a live photo booth with “The Chair.” Dec. 31, 9 p.m., Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net, $5-$10.
New Year’s Eve Spectacular. Baltimore rings in 2018 with music and a fireworks display over the Inner Harbor at midnight. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Inner Harbor, (410) 752-8632, promotionandarts.org, free.
New Year’s Eve with bbymutha. Jenné Afiya & Trillnatured present a New Year’s Eve party with music from bbymutha, Kotic Couture, Isabejja, DJ Pancakes, Rovo Monty, and Trillnatured. Dec. 31, 9 p.m., The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore, $10.
NYE Live. The big year end event returns with DJs, laser shows, open bar, food, party favors, and access to over 10 bars and nightclubs, culminating in a live screening of the Times Square Ball Drop complete with a balloon drop and confetti. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Power Plant Live, 34 Market Place, powerplantlive.com, $95.