I feel rushed, don't you? It's tough enough figuring out how celebrate St. Patrick's Day without Easter being right behind. Fortunately our friends in the historic district are looking out for us, with deals and events.

I see now that the Diamondback Tavern is serving food until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. The owners can also answer the question "Where's the beef?" with their offer of half-price burgers every Monday.

Meanwhile Portalli's has added some decadent new desserts to their menu. I like the sound of Black Forest black-bottom cake with drunken cherries and Chantilly cream. I could probably force down some cannoli Napoleon with house made cannoli shells or a mixed berry zabaglione with a sweet wine cookie. It's not too early to reserve a spot for Easter either.

Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant is offering a brunch menu from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday that is $35 for adults and $17 for kids under 12.

If you want to keep the party at home, the Wine Bin is now offering growlers. They have five rotating taps of draft beers that you can take home in refillable beer containers.

I know that the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company also offers growlers of their own brew, so you could do a taste comparison — now that would make for a fine St. Patrick's Day party.

Driving around

Some of my friends on Main Street tell me that visitors are getting parking tickets on a pretty regular basis for not using the meters on Main Street. So please, when you visit the historic district don't forget to feed the meters.

There is one for every six or seven cars. You just need to make note of the parking space number that is painted on the curb next to the spot. You enter that number into the meter, and pay with cash or credit card. There is a two-hour limit for parking on the street.

Also, there are plenty of convenient free parking spots on the lots throughout town. Most of them don't have a time limit either.

Also, a reader emailed me about the new street signs in town. If you remember, for many years the street signs have been white letters on a red background.

My correspondent, who lived in the historic district for many years, told me that he attended a meeting several decades ago where the red and white color scheme was promoted as looking very attractive against the granite buildings and so the town adopted them.

The new signs are black letters on a white background. I think they just jump out at you as being easy to read, so this is a change for the better.

My correspondent also pointed out that the rest of the county has signs that are white letters on a green background, still different from the historic district. I wonder if those will be changed also.

At the Historical Society

The Howard County Historical Society has some nice events coming up.

On Friday, March 22, the Ain't Misbehavin' Big Band, with Gar Foreman, musical director, will help us swing into spring with the "hot sounds of the coolest band around." Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available on line or at the door.

The Howard County Historical Society Museum is at 8328 Court Ave. off Main Street in Ellicott City. Parking is available in the lot near the Circuit Courthouse.

On Wednesday, March 27, the society is hosting a lecture at the Miller Library from 7 to 8 p.m. David P. Scheffenacker Jr., the president of Preston Scheffenacker Properties and collector of rare books, will discuss and present first editions of famous explorers' adventures and voyages, such as those of Lewis and Clark, Cook, Drake and Captain Bligh's Mutiny on the HMS Bounty.

The event is free, but registration is required. Call 410-313-1950.

And don't forget about the society's upcoming bus tours to President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington on April 5 and to sites from the War of 1812 in Baltimore on April 27. Tickets are available at the Miller Library or on the website.