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Howard County Restaurant Weeks runs through Monday, Feb. 5. The bi-annual event boasts a total of 34 participating county restaurants this year. Each prepares specially priced multi-course meals that profile the culinary talents of its chefs.

The winter Restaurant Weeks will several Ellicott City businesses - Alexandra’s American Fusion, Facci Ristorante Turf Valley, Grille620, Kelsey’s Restaurants & Spirits, Mimi’s Kabob Turf Valley, Nora’s Mediterranean, Stella Notte, Georgia Grace Cafe, La Palapa Grill & Cantina and Tersiguel’s French Country.

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For participating restaurants and menus, go tovisithowardcounty.com. The restaurant week promotion is offered again in the summer.

The Barnes & Noble book store at Long Gate Shopping Center is celebrating Marylander Harriet Tubman’s life with a free children’s story time on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. Kids will learn about Tubman’s heroic fight against slavery through a reading of “I Am Harriet Tubman,” the 14th book in author Brad Meltzer's bestselling ‘Ordinary People Change the World’ series. For more information, call the store at 410-203-9001 or go online at stores.barnesandnoble.com.

On Feb. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the community is invited to Bethany United Methodist Church for its 2018 “Work as Worship” retreat, an event that takes place around the world in designated Methodists churches.

The retreat will discuss what it looks like to connect faith and work. BUMC will live stream a discussion from the Dallas retreat where 11influential business leaders and pastors will talk about Work as Worship topics.

The Dallas 1–Day local church retreat will be broadcast live to over 2,000 churches around the world. Featured speakers include Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales and Jellyfish Labs and Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Channels Kellogg Co.

For more information including online registration, go to bethanyum.org. Cost is $25 per person. The Ellicott City church is at 2875 Bethany Lane.

The 2018 Winter Olympics start Feb. 9 in South Korea. Learn about the host country at the Howard County Library System class for families on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 3 to 3:45 p.m. at the Miller Branch. The class will explore the wonderful culture and country of South Korea by sampling Korean treats and making a souvenir. Ticket are required and can be obtained at the children’s desk 15 minutes before class. Space is limited. For more information, go to hclibrary.org

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Main in Historic Ellicott City on Saturday, Feb. 10 from noon to 9 p.m. (snow date is Saturday, Feb. 17).

To celebrate, the shops and restaurants are going Cajun for a day. Restaurants will offer New Orleans-inspired food and drink. For example, Portalli’s will make king cake martinis and chicory coffee made from a French press.

From noon to 4 p.m., earn prizes by participating in a family-friendly scavenger hunt. First, get your scavenger hunt cards at the Welcome Center, 8267 Main St. Then, visit main street businesses to collect beads and find hidden Mardi Gras masks. Return your hunt cards to the Welcome center for prizes and a chance to win a $50 gift certificate redeemable at downtown businesses.

From 2 to 10 p.m., enjoy the Wine Bin and the Little French Market’s “Boogaloo at the Bin” event. Located in headed tents in the Wine Bin parking lot, enjoy adult beverages, Cajun-themed food and live music. Admission into the tents is free. Food and drinks are for purchase and will benefit Voices for Children Howard County. Featured music will be by The Shrapnels, Zydeco Jed, Hall Williams Band and Soul Island Rebels.

For more details, go to the event sponsor’s website, The Ellicott City Partnership at visitoldellicottcity.com.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 10, in the historic district, the Artists’ Gallery will host its “Love in Winter” art exhibit opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Gallery, 8197 Main St. in the Taylor’s Collective.

The event will feature work for sale by gallery member artists and light refreshments. The show runs through Sunday, Feb. 25. A 10 percent discount will be given on purchases made on Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11.

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. To celebrate, The Shrine of St. Anthony is again hosting its couples evening “to reflect on the power of love both human and divine.” On Saturday, Feb. 10, the event begins at 6 p.m. with Mass, followed by a champagne and hors d’oeuvres social then dinner. The evening ends at 9 p.m. with a closing prayer. Tables can be reserved for couples and groups. Tickets are $45 per person. RSVP at 410-531-2800. The Shrine is at 12290 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City.

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