One cool thing about having to wear masks all the time almost two whole years into this pandemic is that around Halloween time, your costume is already half-complete. Last week, Creative Alliance and Friends of Patterson Park hosted the 22nd Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival, live and in-person. Masks, vaxes, and social distancing were encouraged, with lantern-making spread out across the park and a Mobile Vaccination Station, courtesy of the Baltimore City Health Department, offering COVID-19 and flu vaccines on site.
In 2000, the very first Great Halloween Lantern Parade lit up Patterson Park at night and drew in around 500 attendees. The annual event has grown into a cornerstone event not only for Creative Alliance and the neighborhoods of Patterson Park and Highlandtown, but for the whole city, regularly bringing in thousands for the festivities.
In fact, it was one of many projects Creative Alliance helped produce before moving into its forever home at the Patterson Theater. The parade’s popularity gave the young-ish organization more cred as it worked towards a sustainable and boisterous future. You can read a deep dive into how Creative Alliance blossomed from a humble cafe gallery into a multifaceted arts organization that prioritizes community, collaboration, and education by subscribing to BmoreArt for Issue 12: More is More (releasing November 2021).
Creative Alliance’s seasonal festivity continues this weekend with the Dia de los Muertos parade and festival, starting at noon on Saturday with a march from Patterson Park to Creative Alliance for house-made hot chocolate and Day of the Dead bread made by Artesanas, along with dance, music, costume, traditional art-making, and more.
Photographer E. Brady Robinson captured the Great Halloween Lantern Parade’s exuberant energy—the inventive costumes, glowing lanterns, and tricks of light.