BALTIMORE — After bracing for what could have been another volatile day of unrest, a beautiful spring day unfolded in Baltimore with an atmosphere more festive than threatening.

More than 1,000 marchers convened on City Hall for a planned afternoon rally. The crowd was smaller than the 5,000 that had been projected earlier in the tumultuous week, but decidedly more upbeat than previous gatherings. People moved peacefully and cheerfully toward City Hall, where a rally began at 2 p.m. Vendors sold from food trucks and DJs pumped music. A juggler tossed red, blue and yellow beanbags into the air. A woman at the microphone called for fair jurors to move the case forward.

Much of the tension that has wracked the city seemed to have drained away in the 24 hours since six police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby acted with surprising swiftness, declaring Gray’s death a homicide and describing how he allegedly was arrested illegally, treated callously by the officers, and suffered a severe spine injury in the back of a police van.

To many, the day after Mosby’s action felt like a celebration.

With at least one more march planned, many residents yearned for an end to upheavals that have included violent protests, a 10 p.m. curfew and National Guard troops on the ground.

Tracey Hines, 38, wore a homemade “No More Curfew” T-shirt. She was in a good mood, but she was also ready for her normal routines to resume. The cook at Camden Yards has been out of work all week as two Orioles games were postponed and one remarkable game was played before an empty stadium. A weekend series was also moved to St. Petersburg, Florida.

Others were eager to see the return of calm followed by action.

Karen Frederick, 56, was impressed with how fast charges had been filed against the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest. But she has seen protests fizzle before. Her own nephew, Shawn Cannady, was shot by police in 2009, prompting calls for an investigation by the NAACP and elected officials. The city settled a lawsuit by the family, but no officer was fired, Frederick said.

In the Gray case, Frederick said, “It’s too early to celebrate, because they haven’t been tried by the courts.”

Participants Saturday were themselves trying to sort out their reactions to the quick charging of the police, and the meaning of the afternoon rally.

“It’s more a celebration” than a protest, said Hakeem Muhammad of Black Lawyers for Justice. But Fatimah Shakur of Brooklyn, New York, interrupted.

“It’s no celebration,” she said. “A celebration is a conviction.”

A flash protest did erupt shortly before 12:30 p.m. at the area on West North Avenue that has become Ground Zero of the upheaval. Roughly 150 protesters chanted “Take back Baltimore!”

A protester shouted, “If you had not burned down that CVS, you would not have had those charges yesterday.”

After about 10 minutes, protesters observed a moment of silence for Gray and marched toward City Hall. Small groups of police officers with batons but no riot gear stood near the burned-out CVS drugstore. The National Guard had pulled out from the vicinity, and in their place was a state police armored car.

An appeal for donations totaling $600,000, posted on GoFundMe.com Friday by the Baltimore police union, was taken down within an hour by the online fundraising site. A site spokesperson said GoFundMe doesn’t allow crowdsource fundraising “to benefit those are charged with serious violations of the law.”