Labor Day means talk of crab feasts … and snow blowers?

Now that my kids are out of school, the surest sign for me that summer is ending is the fact that my neighbors and I have already had our planning meeting for the annual Labor Day crab feast. Yes, I've been complaining about the heat — and the rascally mosquitos who have sneaked onto our sun porch and decided I'm the entrée du jour — but I'm not ready to face darkness at 4:30 p.m. and piles of snow by the front door.

That reminds me. Is now a good time to buy a snow blower? I'm hoping that if we buy one it will ensure that it won't snow. In the meantime, I'll relish another sun-warmed tomato and be on the lookout for the first fresh figs at the farmers market.

More movies

The Wine Bin is continuing its Saturday evening outdoor movie festival. On Aug. 20 they will be showing"Back to the Future" and Aug. 27 "Stand by Me (R-rated.) The features start at 9 p.m. and picnicking is encouraged. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of bottled water and popcorn benefits Voices for Children of Howard County, a group that works to make sure that abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes.

Ghost tours

There's work going on at the old Post Office building on Main Street which will greatly expand the space available for Ellicott City Tourism's welcome center, but it isn't keeping Tourism from continuing its popular "Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City" ghost tours. The next scheduled tours are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20 at 8:30 p.m. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the construction in the building is disturbing one or two ghosts of its own, with more stories to share. Call 410-313-1900 for reservations.

Covered bridges

The Howard County Historical Society is presenting a program on the covered bridges of Howard County and central Maryland by Jim Smedley, author of a book by the same name. He'll be at the Society's Museum (the old Presbyterian Church on Court Avenue) Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. Admission is $3 for Society members and $5 for the general public. I'm sure he'll mention the covered bridge that used to be over the Patapsco River between the historic district and Oella. A carelessly flicked cigarette caused that structure to burn down almost 100 years ago.

The Society also has a new book ready for purchase called "Images of America: Howard County." I was privileged to help write and edit this look at our county's heritage and I can tell you that it will be a great addition to your local history collection. For information about this book, and about the program, call 410-750-0370.

Adults only!

Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant is offering a great back-to-school event for grown-ups only Aug. 26. Called "Adults Only Night Out, Proof of Children Not Required," the restaurant invites you to celebrate the new school year with fellow parents, but you have to leave your Mom and Dad monikers at the door. Five courses accompanied by five great wines will balance out all of those hours of kiddie pool supervision and trips to the snowball stand. For reservations, call 410-465-4004.

Chesapeake rifles

To note the start of the Civil War 150 years ago, the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station is hosting authentic Civil War historians, the Chesapeake Rifles, Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. These re-enactors will demonstrate life and duties of Union soldiers during the Civil War. Drills musket and firing demonstrations will teach the role that Maryland played during the war. For more information, call 410-461-0945.

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