Mark your calendar for the big blasty Spring Celebration coming to the historic district on Saturday, April 20.

Sponsored by the Ellicott City Business Association, this event promises to be legendary. Plans are for three stages set up for live music and comedy. They will be located at Tiber Park, the Wine Bin parking lot and behind Tonge Row.

Entertainment will begin at noon and continue on the stages until around 7 p.m. In addition to the stage entertainment, the event will feature craft beer gardens and lots of free Earth Day family activities. These activities include a moon bounce up by the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, mask creation stations, collage making, hula hoop spinning, and painting. Something for everyone.

The historic sites will all be open, and the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is featuring a special exhibit called "Maryland to the Frontier" showing Maryland long rifles.

The Forget-Me-Not Factory will contribute 20 percent of sales on April 20 to the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center that day as well, so be sure to patronize them.

Over at Benjamin Banneker Park in Oella, they are celebrating Earth Day April 20 with a free event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can learn about farming and recycling, buy some plants and visit some live animals. Sounds like a good way to round out a busy day.

Photo Contest

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation has announced this year's photo contest. Submissions will be judged in three categories — adult (18 and over,) youth (17 and younger) and this year's special category, the doors of Ellicott City.

All photos must be of subjects in the historic district, and submissions must be delivered to the Visitors' Welcome Center, 8267 Main St., no later than 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 26. Cash prizes will be awarded.

The photos will be on display at the Welcome Center through July 7. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about the contest, call 410-303-2959.

Decorator Show House

My friends at Historic Ellicott City Inc. tell me that they are on the lookout for this year's show house. The event is usually held in the early fall, and has been immensely popular through the years. If you have a house you would like the group to consider, call them at 410-461-6908.

Around Town

The next Girl's Night Out will be on Thursday, April 18, from 5 to 9 p.m., and on the third Thursday of the month for the rest of the year. Start out at the Wine Bin, where you can sample some wine and pick up a tote bag with a coupon good for 20 percent off an item at one of the participating shops. Then continue on down the street and enjoy!

Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City continues to be a crowd pleaser. The tours leave from the Welcome Center on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30. Call 410-313-1900 for reservations.

On April 19, Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant is hosting a Tra Vigne wine dinner, with a menu inspired by this wonderful Napa restaurant. Five courses with wine pairings are $100. For reservations, call 410-465-4004.

Sign up for the Hills of Milltown 5K on May 12. Go to http://www.visithowardcounty.com to register.

The Wiley Purkey exhibit, "The Artist as History," continues at the Howard County Historical Society's Museum, 8328 Court Ave., in the historic district. It's free and open to the public. The museum hours are Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Call 410-404-7318 for information.

Enchanted Forest

Do you remember everyone's favorite fairytale land, the Enchanted Forest? The park is gone, but the memories linger on. Martha Clark saved quite a few of the park's attractions and displays them at her petting farm, Clark's Elioak Farm, where they continue to delight.

I am writing a book about the Enchanted Forest and hope to include as many memories as possible. If you have a story to share about your visit to the original park, or your participation in the fight to preserve it, please send me an email. I'd love to hear from you.