For the fourth consecutive year, metered parking in historic Ellicott City will be free this holiday season to encourage people to shop at the downtown shops.

Parking in the four metered areas, which together offer more than 140 spaces, will be free from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2. Signs notifying customers will be placed at the entrance of all four parking locations.

"Ellicott City is a fabulous place to visit and shop any time of the year," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement. "And if free parking helps, even a small bit, we want to help local small businesses weather this challenging economy."

Ed Lilley, president of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation said in a statement that free parking is "great news" for Ellicott City's local merchants, businesses and the patrons that support them.


Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

Parking along Main Street, which is usually free, will still be limited to two hours. The county is encouraging patrons to consider limiting their parking in metered spaces to two hours so more people can take advantage of the deal.