Sunday, Jan. 15
MLK holiday celebration The Howard County Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission holds its 27th annual celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Howard Community College's Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The event will begin with a reception at 2 p.m., and the program starts at 3 p.m. Free and open to the public; attendees are asked to bring a can of food to donate to the food bank. Guest speaker will be Jeff Johnson, chairman and CEO of the Jeff Johnson Institute. The celebration will also include artistic performances and recognition of the 2011 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Essay Contest winners and the "Living the Dream" award recipient. Information: 410-313-6430.
Chamber Music concert The Orchestra of St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, perform a Viennese New Year celebration featuring the music of Johann Strauss with dancers from the Howard County Ballet and a video presentation, "The Wonders of Howard County," followed by a champagne and chocolate reception. Program begins at 4 p.m. and tickets are $25, $10 for students 18-24 with valid ID, and free for children 18 and younger with a paying adult. Information: 410-461-7793, ext. 501 or go to orchestraofstjohns.org.
Environmental program The Earth Forum of Howard County sponsors "The Chesapeake Bay and Your Back Yard" from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle in Columbia. Rep. John Sarbanes will discuss working to restore the health of the bay, promote stormwater management and increase environmental literacy. The event includes refreshments followed by a discussion and workshops. Free and open to everyone. Directions and more information: 410-730-3545 or go to earthforumhc.org.
Wednesday, Jan. 18
School news The Board of Education's Legislative Committee meets at 3:30 p.m. in the Lobby Conference Room ML 2, at 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City. Information: 410-313-6680.
Computer group The Central Maryland User Group for Windows personal computers meets at 7:30 p.m. at the public library's Miller branch, 9421 Frederick Road in Columbia. Bring your questions and problems for help by other users. Free. Information: 301-774-0331 or go to mycmug.org.
Thursday, Jan. 19
Movie screening The Howard County Conservancy screens "Dirt! The Movie" at 7 p.m. at 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. The documentary, narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, explores our relationship with soil, the living skin of the earth and a resource as critical to life on the planet as air and water. Soil scientist Patrick Drohan will introduce the film and lead the audience discussion that follows. Refreshments will be served. Cost is $17 per family. To register and more information, go hcconservancy.org.
Friday, Jan. 20
Concert The Oakland Nights Music Series presents pianist Linda Reed from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. Program includes classical selections, show tunes and Beatles songs. Free. Information: 410-730-4744.
Saturday, Jan. 21
'Children on Board' Howard County's annual Preschool/Child Care Information Fair, sponsored by the Office of Children's Services, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. The event will provide parents, guardians, grandparents and child care personnel with information on child care and preschool programs. Representatives from community service organizations will also attend. Admission is free; attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the Howard County Food Bank. Information: 410-313-1940.
Youth dance The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department's Junior Firefighters sponsors a "Winter Wonderland" dance for ages 9-15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 6275 Old Washington Road. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. Food and beverages, including pizza, corn dogs, pretzels, nachos, candy, water and sodas, will be for sale. Information: 410-761-6633 or go to elkridgevfd.org.
Concert and dinner "It Was A Very Good Year," a tribute to Frank Sinatra starring Tony Sands, takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St. in Laurel. Tickets are $15; $40 for admission and dinner at Salute's Restaurant (next door to playhouse). For reservations and more information, call 301-452-2557 or go to laurelmillplayhouse.org.
Concert Brian Franke, Hank Alinger and Billy J Carter perform in a free Music Matters showcase from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mad City, 10801 Hickory Ridge Road in Columbia. Information: 301-953-1560.
Theater Candlelight Concert Society's CandleKids presents "Henry & Mudge" at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Tickets are $10. Information: 410 997-2324 or go to candlelightconcerts.org
Classical concert Candlelight Concert Society presents the American String Quartet and Ariel String Quartet at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Admission is $12-$30. Information: 410 997-2324 or go to candlelightconcerts.org.
Sweetheart dance Dads can take their daughters out for an evening of dancing and fun on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, 3300 Norberts Way in Ellicott City. Fathers or guardians and their young ladies can enjoy dancing, refreshments, crafts and more. Cost is $40 per pair; $20 for each additional daughter. Times are 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for ages 4-6 and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for ages 7-11. Advance registration required. Deadline is Jan. 20. Registration and information: 410-313-7275. (Inclement weather date is Feb. 4).
Concert/dance The Retro-Rockets, a local six-piece band that specializes in music of the '50s, '60s, '70s and beyond, perform from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at One World Coffeehouse in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way in Columbia. Dance or listen to the music of Chuck Berry, Etta James, Roy Orbison, the Temptations, Drifters, and others, as the band play a blend of rock and roll songs, ballads, R&B, country, big band, standards, and blues. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Snacks, baked goods, coffee and soda will be available for sale. Cost is $12, $6 for those younger than 12. Information: 410-381-0097 or 301-596-2017.
Announcements for the datebook may be sent by mail to The Baltimore Sun in Howard County, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax to 410-332-6455.