The official first day of summer is just a few days away and already the historic district is settling in to the comfortable rhythm of outdoor movies, concerts and axe throwing. Say what? Yes, in addition to Wine Bin movies and Little Market Café concerts in the courtyard behind Tonge Row, we now have AxGard Axes above the Wine Bin on Main Street, offering axe-throwing tournaments. We really do have something for everyone!
But before we get to all that, come on down to Main Street this weekend for the annual plein air paint-out, Paint It! Ellicott City. Thursday through Sunday painters will be setting up their easels all over town, helping us see the sights we take for granted with a fresh pair of eyes and some paint. One local artist who continues to surprise and delight is Wiley Purkey, who will be participating. Wiley will be painting at Backwater Books, 8156 Main St., on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. For his live painting demonstration Wiley plans to paint over discarded LP records, hoping to complete 24 in seven hours.
On Monday at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, there will be a reception and awards ceremony, 6-8 p.m. An exhibit of the artwork will be on display until Aug. 20 at the Howard County Welcome Center on Main Street. A reception will be held there on June 20, 6-8 p.m. For more information call 410-313-2787 or go to https://www.hocoarts.org/explore/learn-participate/exhibits/paint-ellicott-city/.
As for upcoming movies and concerts, The Wine Bin will be showing “Hairspray” on June 10, and “Death on the Nile” on June 17, both starting at 9 p.m. Concerts in the Courtyard will feature The Musty Cupboards on Friday and Jamnation on Saturday, both at 6 p.m. John Durant, Sr. will be there from noon-3 p.m., June 17. Bring Dad down for an early Father’s Day party. The concerts and movies are free and no reservations are required. On June 16 at 7:30 p.m. Comedy in the Courtyard returns, with Carmen Ciricillo. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For more information call 443-519-6361.
On every second and fourth Friday, AxGard Axes will offer “Friday Night Video Game Fights” on the big screen in the parking lot next to the Wine Bin, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. On Sunday at 5 p.m. AxGard is sponsoring an axe-throwing tournament. The entrance fee is $40. Call 240-494-6881 to find out more.
If you are in the mood for karaoke, the Trolley Stop is the place to visit on Fridays, starting at 9 p.m. The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is hosting another game night, featuring history-based games, on June 13, 5-8 p.m. The event is free and no registration is required.
The ClayGround Studio and Art Gallery, 3715 Old Columbia Pike, is offering special drag show pottery classes this month. This is the studio’s same pottery wheel class experience “only more glamorous!” Drag queen Tara Caughta will teach class in drag and participants are welcome to enjoy the safe space in drag or however they like. The “Mud and Merlot” pottery classes are set for June 16 and 30, at 5 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $65. Reserve your space by calling 443-512-1158. Find out more at claygroundonline.com.
The Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road, is leading a butterfly hike on their property on June 20, 10:30 a.m.-noon. The event is free, but registration is required. Call 410-465-8877. That same day, at 7 p.m. the Conservancy is showing “The Moth Project,” a multimedia presentation blending science, music and nature. The cost is $15. Find out more at howardnature.org.
Late last month marked the fifth anniversary of the 2018 flood in Ellicott City’s historic district, destroying property and taking one life. I am reminded of this sad event every time I travel to lower Main Street, where empty buildings wait in limbo.
Send news about Ellicott City people and events to include in this column to Janet Kusterer at email@example.com.