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Baltimore's enduring eccentricities shine at Christmas

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In this Dec. 6, 2017 photo, row houses in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore show off Christmas decorations. Known as "The Miracle on 34th Street," the dramatically over-the-top decor along the block is perhaps Baltimore's most beloved seasonal institution, attracting thousands of gawkers each December. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky

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In this Dec. 13, 2017 photo, Christmas decorations featuring a flock of plastic pink flamingos stand in a front yard in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. Known as "The Miracle on 34th Street," the dramatically over-the-top Christmas decor along a block of row houses is perhaps Baltimore's most beloved seasonal institution, attracting thousands of gawkers each December. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky

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In this Dec. 5, 2017 photo, filmmaker John Waters poses for a photograph during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in Baltimore. Baltimore's homegrown pop-cultural icon dubbed the "Pope of Trash" has been touring U.S. theaters in recent weeks to spread his particular brand of holiday cheer with a long-running show called "A John Waters Christmas." (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky

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In this Dec. 5, 2017 photo, filmmaker John Waters poses for a photograph during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in Baltimore. "I like it (Christmas) because it's excessive, it's crazy, you can't ignore it, and it makes people nuts," he said. Baltimore's homegrown pop-cultural icon dubbed the "Pope of Trash" has been touring U.S. theaters in recent weeks to spread his particular brand of holiday cheer with a long-running show called "A John Waters Christmas." (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky

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In this Dec. 5, 2017 photo, Baltimore Fire Department firefighter David Edwards, left, and Capt. Jason Turner chat alongside an elaborate "Christmas Gardens" model train display inside Engine House 45 in Baltimore. As one of the area's oldest holiday customs, "Christmas Gardens" has its roots in the local 19th century German immigrant community. It's a fading tradition, but some fire houses still set up the imaginative displays of model trains chugging past fantastical townscapes that firefighters spend months planning and assembling each year. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky

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This Dec. 13, 2017, photo shows Christmas decorations depicting Salie Utz of Utz potato chips, left, and Mr. Boh of National Bohemian Beer in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. Known as "The Miracle on 34th Street," the dramatically over-the-top decor along a block of row houses is perhaps Baltimore's most beloved seasonal institution, attracting thousands of gawkers each December. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By: Patrick Semansky