It’s a Miracle on 34th Street, Hon!
Between Thanksgiving and New Year, the row-houses on the 700 block on 34th Street in Baltimore are set ablaze with strings of bright lights and over-the-top decorations. This tradition, named “Miracle on 34th Street” after the movie, occurs annually in the bohemian, blue-collar neighborhood of Hampden in north Baltimore. What started as one neighbor decking out their front yard over 60 years ago has turned into the whole block partaking in the fervor.
Visitors flock to this street to celebrate the holiday spirit with Baltimore charm. There are typical Christmas and Hanukkah displays, but also artistic creations like snowmen made of bicycle wheels and trees built from hubcaps and vinyl records. What makes this celebration unique is the abundance of Maryland pride that neighbors pore into their displays. Fun references to Old Bay Seasoning, Natty Bohs, the Utz girl, pink flamingos (a tribute to John Waters’ movies), and the Orioles and Ravens abound. The event has become so popular in recent years that the area is blocked off on weekends so pedestrians can stroll and take selfies out of harm’s way. In the late afternoon, head to Hampden to finish holiday shopping and grab dinner—the neighborhood is a destination for funky shops, galleries, and unique eats along 36th Street, also known as “The Avenue.”
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of exploring the world. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as the Art Director for the branding firm, Belmont Inc., in Alexandria, VA. In her spare time, she instructs high-energy Zumba dance classes, contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible. She went to college in Baltimore and loves to share her fondness for Charm City.
Where do you head to get into the holiday spirit? Share your recommendations in the reply section below.