Celebrate Earth Day with a visit to the historic district this Saturday, April 8, when it pulls out all the stops for a big, blasty Spring Fest all over town. The event runs from noon to 7:30 p.m. Anticipating large crowds, planners have arranged for free shuttles to operate among the parking lots so you can leave your car behind. The joint will be jumping — four stages will host 25 bands over the course of the day. There will be beer and wine gardens, plenty of sidewalk sales and fun crafts for the kids. One craft station sounds particularly cool. There will be a LEGO Play Zone at the Railroad Plaza from noon to 5 p.m. It will have 400 pounds of LEGO Duplo bricks to build with, and a LEGO mosaic building station. Kids can really let their creative juices flow! For more information, visit www.VisitEllicottCity.com.
It's nice to see that the Heritage Orientation Center, closed since the July flood, has reopened recently with new exhibits. This tiny granite building behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin was once the court house, believe it or not. That's how the Judge's Bench across the street got its name—judges used to take a break and walk across the street and relax on a bench in front of that building. Anyway, in 1998, Historic Ellicott City Inc. opened the HOC with interesting exhibits about the influences of the floods, mills and Ellicotts on the town. This exhibit has now been updated and includes a new temporary exhibit on the history of the Fels Lane community, arranged by Tyrone Tyler, a former resident of Fels Lane, right across the parking lot from the building.
Dee Lenehan has been a leader in the local arts community for many years and has a studio on the west end of Main Street. She is well known for her paintings and murals and now she is branching out into custom-jewelry making. Many interesting pieces are available online. Check out her website at www.lenehanstudios.com or email her at email@example.com
The Tourism Council is offering a class that should be of interest to local business owners. It's in the Visit Howard County Educational Series and called "Digital Marketing 101." The class is offered on April 27 by Sara Kurtanich, director of marketing for Visit Howard County. The class, held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Visitors Center, 8267 Main St., will offer tips on how to make sure visitors can find your business online. The cost is $20 for members; $30 for non-members. To register, call 410-313-1904.
Historic Ellicott City Inc. has announced the location of its 31st Decorator Show House. It is White Hall, on Chatham Road in Ellicott City. The event will be held from Sept. 24 to Oct. 22. Designers interested in submitting a proposal should contact design chairman Carroll Frey at 410-456-6836, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds go to preservation projects in Howard County, particularly the historic district of Ellicott City.
Tickets are now on sale for the Howard County Historical Society's annual fundraiser, to be held at historic Oakdale on June 3. This year's event theme is a 1950s cocktail party, "Strangers in the Night." Tickets are $85 each through May 15; $100 after. For more information visit its website at www.hchsmd.org. The Society is featuring Train Wreck playing the music of the '80s in its concert series on April 20 at 7 p.m. Held at the Museum of Howard County History, 8328 Court Ave., tickets are $12, free to members with a reservation. The next Historic Walking Tour by the Society will be on Saturday, April 22, at 11:30 am. The tour leaves from Mt. Ida, across from the Courthouse parking lot. Tickets are $11 for members, $13 for non-members.
The next Spirits of Ellicott City tour starts at 8 p.m. at The Wine Bin on April 20. This tour is open to participants over age 21. Also, the Haunted Ellicott City tours continue of Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. For details on all of the tours, call 410-480-3250 or visit www.hchsmd.org.