Ellicott City: Parking will cost more, but it's still a bargain

Do you think that when the Ellicott brothers arrived here in 1772 they griped about how hard it was to find a convenient parking space for their wagons? It seems that people have been going on about that for at least that long.

Well, some changes are coming to the historic district parking situation in the next few months, and hopefully they will help. Steve Lafferty, director of Special Projects for the County Executive, addressed a recent meeting of the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation and explained some of the changes to be introduced.

Parking on Main Street and Maryland Avenue will no longer be free. Meters serving about nine cars each will be used and the two-hour parking limit will continue to be enforced. The cost hasn't been finalized yet, but will be up to $1 an hour.

The lots that now charge 25 cents an hour will go up to 50 cents. Still a bargain these days.

Unrelated but happening around the same time, the county plans to implement an app for your phone that will tell you where available parking spaces are. I'll keep you informed as these changes progress.

Road to the Arts

We're invited to celebrate the start of the 2012-2013 gallery season with a weekend of gallery events and receptions in Howard County. Several are in Ellicott City.

The Howard County Arts Council will feature several new exhibits in its two galleries, through Oct. 12, with a reception on Sept. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Call them at 410-313-2787.

In the historic district the Still Life Gallery at 8173 Main St., will exhibit works by contemporary painters through Oct. 28. A reception is scheduled for Sept. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery can be contacted at 410-461-1616. Also, Perspectives Art Gallery, at 8191 Main St., will feature an exhibit called "Maryland My Maryland" through Sept. 30. The reception is Sept. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. The number is 410-461-7763.

Picnic in the Park

The Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park are holding a Picnic in the Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. Pack a lunch and enjoy the beautiful grounds of the former school for young ladies. It will be held from 12:30 until 3 p.m. with free admission.

The theme is the Institute during the Civil War. There will be re-enactors, demonstrations, tours of the site and kids' activities. Grover Hinds will speak about his book and "Letters from the Patapsco Female Institute," Lee Preston will discuss "North and South Here Met" and Edward G. Longacre, author of many books about the Civil War, including "To Gettysburg and Beyond," which contains information about the soldiers of the 12th New Jersey Volunteers who were stationed somewhere in the hills above our town, will discuss "Ellicotts Mills, Union Troops in a Bed of Secession."

Lively Spirits

Howard County Tourism has scheduled a "Dare to Taste the Spirits of Ellicott City" event for Sept. 13. For participants over the age of 21, this evening offering visits several establishments where you can enjoy a drink (not included in ticket price) and hear stories about the spirits that inhabit the town. Enjoy spirits while drinking spirits — get it? Anyway, call 800-288-8747 for reservations.

Eagle Scout Shout-Out

At our beloved neighborhood Labor Day weekend crab feast this year, I spoke with young neighbor Nick Leuba, a senior at Mount St. Joseph High School.

Last year Nick was looking for an Eagle Scout project and I helped him hook up with friends at Parks and Rec. This resulted in Nick taking on a daunting project building a structure at Rockburn Park.

Nick maintained a careful scrapbook cataloging every step on the way to completion of the project — from the original proposal to the fundraiser car wash to purchasing materials and organizing volunteers to do the work.

As a result of all of his hard work he was recently awarded Eagle Scout status — and visitors to Rockburn Park will have dry firewood as a result of his new structure. Thanks, Nick,for a job well done.

Mr. Entertainment

I heard from Lee Doll, a.k.a. "Mr. Entertainment" of Main Street, that there is a new comedy film in the works starring Louanna Lee. This one is called "Rise and Fall In Love."

My friend, historic district resident Earl Klemm, has yet another supporting role in this effort as well. You can see the trailer on YouTube.

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