Mostly Main Street: Big weekend promises music, painting, movies and rocks

No need to head out of town for things to do this weekend. The historic district has so much going on you should simply book a room at Obladi, the bed and breakfast on Main Street, and plan to make a holiday of it.

Friday night, July 6, is First Friday, and shops and restaurants will be open extended hours, with special sales and live music.

Throughout the town on July 6 through 8 is the plein air painting event sponsored by the Howard County Arts Council, Howard County Tourism and the Howard County Schools.

Registered painters will be at work on every corner, capturing the wonderful scenery. A painting preview will be held on Sunday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Second Sunday Market, near the Mat About You Gallery.

The paintings will then be on exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts from July 9 to the middle of August. Some works will also be on display at the Tourism Center on Main Street.

On Saturday, July 7, the second annual river rock building event will be held at the Patapsco River, by the bridge, in memory of Ted Betts.

Ted started the practice of whimsical rock sculptures a few years ago, and it continues as a way of remembering this popular river walker, naturalist, artist, good-will ambassador and teacher who died unexpectedly and too soon. Watch the event from the bridge from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Wine Bin on Main Street continues its Saturday night at the movies program. This Saturday they are featuring "Arsenic and Old Lace." On July 14, they will show "The Help."

The parking lot closes an hour before the show starts at 9 p.m. Bring a chair and a picnic if you would like. They offer popcorn and bottled water for sale, with the proceeds going to charity.

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is back at the Patapsco Female Institute, with performances Thursdays through Sundays this month. The group is alternating "Romeo and Juliet" and "Pride and Prejudice."

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information visit

The next literary pub crawl is Thursday, July 5. For a $10 fee, hear stories of the literary figures who are part of the history of the town. The tour begins at 7 p.m. at the Diamondback Tavern and is open to participants age 21 and older.

Yates Market is closing its doors after 127 years of doing business on Main Street. It is the oldest continually operating business in the historic district.

It's hard to believe, but the shop opened its doors in 1885 and has been selling groceries ever since. Betty Yates Jacobs and her sister Cheryl Yates Libertini inherited the business, and Betty has been a daily presence there since their father, Bladen Yates, died in 2002.

Bladen's grandfather started the business and Bladen started working there in 1938. Over the years the market has offered a variety of services.

For a long time the family also operated a hardware store next door. Bladen's wife ran the hardware store while Bladen took care of the groceries. The shops merged a few years ago.

This unique store was a place you could go to get custom-cut meats, house-made sage sausage and seafood from Faidley's in Lexington Market. You could also get a chair caned and have keys made. They also delivered groceries locally.

For many years, my family's Thanksgiving dinner centered on items I special ordered at Yates — a fresh turkey, the delicious sausage and Faidley's oysters.

At one time, there were 13 grocery stores in just a few blocks in the historic district. Now the last one is gone, and it will be sorely missed. Thanks to the Yates family for keeping up the tradition for so long.

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