County's Tourism Council celebrates 30 years of service

I can't imagine living here and not having the services of the Howard County Tourism Council available. I love to visit their website to learn about upcoming events, and to stop in the Visitors Center on Main Street every now and then to check out the brochures. You don't have to be a visitor to benefit from their services.

So, I'm delighted to report that they will be celebrating 30 years of service to our county later this month. In the early days I remember them being in the tiny stone building behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin that was once briefly the county courthouse, and is now the Heritage Orientation Center.

In the early 1990s they were able to move to the much more prominent location in the lower level of the Main Street Post Office, thanks to the efforts of Historic Ellicott City, Inc. And now they are poised to take over the entire building, when the current renovation is completed. Their gala celebration is scheduled for Sept. 30 at Turf Valley. For reservations, call them at 410-313-1900.

Meanwhile, Tourism's Visitors Center continues their popular ghost tours on Friday and Saturday evenings. Are we "the most actively haunted town in America?" Take the tour and judge for yourself.

Decorator Show House

Holly Manor, Historic Ellicott City, Inc.'s 27th Decorator Show House, will be open to the public from Sept. 24 to Oct. 23. This year's event is located in Maple Lawn and features the work of more than 25 decorators. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For information or to volunteer to help out, call 410-461-6908 or go to the website

Cooking with Class

Chef Michel Tersiguel is offering another cooking class, Sunday, Sept. 18. These classes are a great opportunity to learn new techniques and recipe ideas from this Culinary Institute of America-trained chef. And the best part is that after you watch the cooking demonstration, you get to eat a five course meal — with appropriate wines of course. The classes are great fun and very popular and cost $80 — a good value for the class plus the multi-course meal. Reserve a place by calling 410-465-4004.

Saturday Night at the Movies

The Wine Bin continues its Saturday night movie program with two perennial favorites. On Sept. 17, they will be showing the great "Best in Show," one of Christopher Guest's finest efforts. It stars a lot of Guest's "regulars" —Michael McKean,Harry Shearer and Bob Balaban, etc., — and you'll even catch "Glee" star Jane Lynch. On Sept. 24 they will be showing "Airplane." Glad I won't be flying any time soon after seeing that one. Great fun. Both shows start at 9 p.m.

Stream cleanup

I'm always interested to hear what the Friends of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway are up to. They are committed to keeping our precious streams and rivers and parks clean and safe. To that end they are sponsoring a Stream Captain Training Program Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. That will be followed by a Stream Cleanup at Ilchester Sept. 24, which will offer on-the-job training for the new captains. For information, go to the website http://www.patapscoheritagegreenway.or.

Blacksmith Days

The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is featuring a Blacksmith Day Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. where the Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland will demonstrate their craft on the Station Plaza. Especially for the kids ages 5-12 will be a hands on event at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. where they can forge plasticene clay with wooden hammers, practicing what they have observed. For more information call 410-461-1945.

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