Earth Day is April 26 and there are lots of ways available for us to reconnect to our commitment to be kind to Mother Earth. One of my favorites is the whiskey rain barrel give-away sponsored by the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership's Green and Safe and Clean committee.
The committee will be distributing the barrels to residents and businesses located in the historic district and the west end on Saturday, May 3, and is offering an installation demonstration in the Wine Bin parking lot at 10 a.m. To reserve a barrel, contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ECHDP has also announced its annual historic district photo contest. Submissions must be received at the Tourism Welcome Center on Main Street by 5 p.m. on May 25. Winners will be announced at the opening reception for an exhibit of the photographs at the Welcome Center on June 6 at 7 p.m.
Photos may be entered in three categories — adult (age 18 and over), junior (age 17 and under) and the special category, which this year is Ellicott City at night. For more information, call 410-303-2959.
La Palapa is holding a fundraiser for the Lucky Duck Foundation on Friday, April 25 from 4 to 9 p.m. The event features a raffle and giveaways and 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the Foundation. For reservations call 410-465-0070.
Sunday, April 27, is Spring Heritage Day in the historic district, with events occurring from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be a craft demonstration at the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin. The Firehouse Museum will have a show and tell corner for the kids. The Ellicott City Colored School, Restored, will feature a new photo and documents exhibit about the school. All events are free. For more information, call 410-313-0419.
Up the hill, the Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute are hosting a Picnic in the Park on April 27 from noon to 3 p.m. You can bring your own picnic or buy one there. Free events include lawn games and costume try-ons. You can also handle some of the many artifacts that have been produced by archeological digs at the property over the years.
Both regular Zumba and aqua Zumba are being offered this spring at the Roger Carter Center. Classes start the end of April and continue twice a week until the beginning of June. To register, call 410-313-7275.
The Still Life Gallery, at 8173 Main St., is offering an afternoon of wine and jewelry on April 27. Brenda Cason creates all handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, which will be available all day at this unique trunk show. Call 410-461-1616 for more information. Sounds to me like a fine place to do some shopping for Mother's Day.
The return of nice weather also heralds the return of First Friday in the historic district. The next one is May 2, and many shops will be open until 8 p.m., offering live music and special deals.
I understand that the Benjamin Moore selection of our Main Street to be painted is in the serious planning stage and work will begin soon.
I was especially pleased to hear that the Ellicott City sign on the railroad bridge is going to get a facelift. That sign is a perfect example of how one person can make a difference in the community.
It's hard to remember at this point but that bridge used to be a magnet for graffiti artists and was basically an eyesore. Well, Ellicott City firefighter Wendy McCord drove under that bridge every day on her way to work and finally decided she could personally do something about it.
So, she presented her idea to the Historic District commission as well as CSX, jumped through all the required hoops, and then along with a group of firefighter friends went ahead and painted the bridge. I remember seeing her in the bucket of a cherry picker, paint brush in hand, transforming the space that is now right up there with the Railroad Museum and the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin as must-see attractions in the historic district.
Thanks, Wendy, for the original work, and thanks to the folks at Benjamin Moore for helping maintain it.