Hampden Lights: A Christmas Miracle on 34th Street

01 of 07

The Miracle on 34th Street

The Miracle on 34th Street
Mike Unger

Residents of Baltimore's 34th Street in Hampden turn their neighborhood into the city's best display of Christmas spirit every year. The Miracle on 34th Street lights up the block between Keswick Road and Chestnut Street with traditional Christmas decorations and creative odes to Baltimore culture. The month-long celebration, in its 71st year in 2017, draws people from around the city and state.

Longtime 34th Street residents Bob and Darlene Hosier started the tradition, which continues to grow. Some beloved displays appear every winter, while other residents try out new themes and styles each year, as photos from past years show. Nightline, Travel Channel, Maryland Lottery, and Home and Garden magazine have each given a shout-out to the creativity and neighborly cooperation that make this yearly effort possible.

2017 Christmas Lights in Hampden

When: Every night from November 25 through December 31
Where: 700 block of 34th Street, between Keswick Road and Chestnut Street
Cost: Free
Note: The folks on 34th Street call putting up the lights a "labor of love" and say they do not solicit donations.

To see the lights, park (on the street) nearby and walk. While you can drive, traffic, both on 34th Street and leading up to it, moves slowly. Plus pedestrians, dazed by the holiday lights, can make navigating tricky.

02 of 07

Old Bay and Natty Boh Christmas Tree

Old Bay and Natty Boh Christmas Tree
Mike Unger

It doesn't get more Baltimore than Old Bay and Natty Boh, the nickname for the hometown brew, National Bohemian beer. One homeowner on 34th Street proves that each year with a unique "tree" fashioned from the must-haves of a true Maryland blue crab feast.

03 of 07

Crab Tree

Mike Unger

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs might be considered both the base and the pinnacle of Baltimore cuisine. A giant red light-up crab also beckons viewers from afar.

04 of 07

Go Ravens!

Go Ravens!
Mike Unger

Baltimoreans love their Ravens so of course they incorporate home-team pride into their holiday displays.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

This Grinch Won't Steal Christmas

This Grinch Won't Steal Christmas
Mike Unger

It would take more than a huge Grinch to ruin Christmas on Baltimore's 34th Street. The look on his face implies that this character knows it.

06 of 07

Happy Holidays, Hon!

Happy Holidays, Hon!
Mike Unger

This Christmas display salutes the local term of endearment and greeting, "Hon." Hampden continues to celebrate in warmer months with the annual summer HONFest honoring the historic working women of Baltimore in pure "Bawlmer" style.​ 

07 of 07

Hampden's Christmas Lights

Hampden's Christmas Lights
Mike Unger

This spirited display may be best captured by the memories of a yearly visit. It's tough to get a full image of both sides of the block from the street. Look out for cars if you try it.

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