I hope everyone enjoys a great Fourth of July celebration. In our family we have an extra reason to celebrate-our dear daughter-in-law, Kristen, was born in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July. Can't get any more patriotic American than that. Happy birthday, Kristen!

We'll be adding birthday cake to our cook-out menu that day. And, while I'm mentioning birthdays, here's a shout-out to my husband Tom, too, who celebrates his on July 9. Like always, there will be coconut cake that day, but we probably will hold off on the candles.

The historic district continues to offer great weekend entertainment. Every Saturday you can enjoy a free concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in parking lot D, behind Tonge Row. Then go up the block to the Wine Bin to enjoy one of their free movies, starting at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, July 5, the feature is "Iron Man" and on the 12th, one of my great favorites, "Moonstruck," featuring Cher and Nick Cage at their finest. Don't miss it.

Also, every Saturday you have farmers markets in two locations-behind Tonge Row and next to The Wine Bin-from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Moves

I am sorry to report that Randy and Steve's, located in the former Yates Market, has closed. Randy and Steve have been great friends to the historic district for many years so I hope that their next venture stays close to home. They will be missed.

Also, the spot that old-timers' always refer to as Leidig's Bakery, most recently a Subway, is now on to its next life as a boutique, always a good addition to Main Street. Welcome to the neighborhood.

Paint It

Now that the town's buildings have a new coat of paint, thanks to Benjamin Moore, it's time for the "Paint It Ellicott City" plein air event. From July 11 to 14 local artists will be out and about, painting on canvas the newly painted buildings.

This is a fun event to take part in, even if you are just looking. If you want to paint, you need to register, which costs $10. Call 410-313-2787 for more information. At the end of the event an opening reception will be held at the Howard County Center for the Arts, on July 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Civil War Commemoration

The next event in marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will be the Battle of Monocacy Retreat Commemoration, July 12 and 13. This will be held at various locations in the historic district, centered at the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station.

The event marks the Union troops retreat from Monocacy to the Station and features encampments and drills by re-enactors, a Civil War artifacts exhibit and a plaque dedication honoring Howard County citizens who served in the Union army.

There will also be Civil War themed book signings by Dan Toomey and Mark Leepson. Call 410-461-1945 for more information.

Also, on July 15 a program featuring the women of Monocacy will be presented from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Library. This program will demonstrate the effect of this battle on women. Call 410-313-7750 for more information.

Library benefit

You can shop for a good cause at Macy's through July 13. The Howard County Library has partnered with Macy's in their campaign to provide books for children. A $3 donation at Macy's will buy a book for a child. In return you receive $10 off a $30 purchase. Sounds like a great deal to me.