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On Ellicott City’s Main Street, the Bubble Man is back

Barry Gibson, the Bubble Man and owner of The Forget-Me-Not Factory, has made bubbles in front of his store for years.
Barry Gibson, the Bubble Man and owner of The Forget-Me-Not Factory, has made bubbles in front of his store for years. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Forget-Me-Not Factory has finally reopened, 16 months after the last Ellicott City flood, and that means the Bubble Man is back.

Barry Gibson has been blowing bubbles in front of the gift shop he owns with his wife Nancy Gibson for decades, always in some colorful costume reflecting the season. Even though the fate of a number of empty buildings on lower Main Street is still up in the air, just the sight of Gibson’s bubbles floating out onto the sidewalk offers a comforting hope that things are returning to normal.

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Other positive changes include the reopening of lot F at the west end of town, which paves the way for the return of the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin to its site on Main Street. Also, Discoveries, a specialty clothing, crafts and jewelry shop, has found a new home, at 8181 Main St., and will reopen later this fall.

On a sad note, the grand dame of the historic district, M. Joan Malpas, died on Sept. 17. She reigned in her shop, Cottage Antiques on Main Street, for over 30 years and will be greatly missed.

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The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City has been doing community service work for the children of Ellicott City and Howard County for 75 years. To commemorate this, the Kiwanis, along with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Howard County Youth Program has put up a two-sided digital sign to identify Kiwanis-Wallis Park from Route 40 and provide a means of posting messages. The sign unveiling is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.

The Blossoms of Hope 5K and Fun Run for cancer have taken place in the spring in the historic district for many years. This year it will move to Sunday, Oct. 27. The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. and the fun run at 8:15 a.m. Participants are encouraged to run in costume, the “wackier the better.” The post-race party includes live bands, a magic show and kids’ activities. For more information, go to blossomsofhope.org.

Historic Ellicott City Inc.’s 33rd decorator show house, Belle Vue at the Chase, continues through Oct. 20. Funds raised from this event support the group’s mission of preservation, education and restoration in Howard County. For tickets, go to historicec.com.

The Colonel Thomas Dorsey Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution invites prospective members to the next monthly meeting on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 9:30 a.m. in Ellicott City. All Daughters of the American Revolution are descendants of patriots of the Revolutionary War. For more information about Howard County’s only DAR chapter, and the October meeting, contact Regent Sheila Young at sheilayoungdar@gmail.com.

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Howard High School is holding an Arts, Crafts and More Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, featuring over 95 vendors. The school is at 8700 Old Annapolis Road in Ellicott City and the proceeds benefit its activities and athletic programs. Admission is free. To learn more call 443-860-1194.

The Ellicott City Brewing Co., at 8308 Main St., is holding an Oktoberfest beer and wine dinner on Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Call 410-313-8141 for reservations.

Due to popular demand, the Old Mill Café, next door to the Trolley Stop, is offering a second Haunted Tea and Tarot on Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $30. To reserve call 410-465-2253. Ghostly guides are ready to give you a tour of the Patapsco Female Institute starting at 8 p.m. Oct. 4, 11 and 18. The tours are open to visitors over the age of 16 and cost $15. For reservations call 410-313-0419.

Mary’s Land Farm, at 4979 Sheppard Lane, is featuring The Fine Things at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. The event features classical music, olive oil tastings and a tour of the farm. It is also holding an Autumn Nights Lecture Series, discussing a variety of farming practices, on Tuesdays during the fall at 7 p.m. To register for these events call 410-849-4314.

Clark’s Elioak Farm, at 10500 Route 108, is hosting a Teddy Bear Farm Visit with Tony McGuffin, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6. Bring your favorite Teddy and enjoy folk singing, rides, mazes, gem mining and a mechanical bull. Learn more by calling 410-730-4049.

The Howard County Conservancy, on Route 99, is holding its 12th annual Fall Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Enjoy bluegrass music, farm animals, crafts and a farm stand. Entry is $10 per car. Contact 410-465-8877 for more information.

The Church of the Resurrection, at 3165 Paulskirk Drive, is holding its Community Fall Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Reach them at 410-461-9112.

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