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Open house for Eid-ul-Fitr at the Rizwan Siddiqi home

United Maryland Muslim Council president Rizwan Siddiqi and his wife Shahnaz Siddiqi hosted an Open House in their Ellicott City home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, a holy month dedicated to prayer, introspection and fasting during the daytime hours.

"Eidis a joyous occasion with important religious significanceandcelebration. It is a day of forgiveness, peace, fellowship, brotherhood and unity," Rizwan said. "Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting, but also thank God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self-control."

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My husband Tom and I attended the Siddiqi's Open House. Rizwan, Shahnaz and their children Moiz and Sadaf were gracious hosts who gave us a warm welcome and treated us to a delicious food buffet. The party is an anticipated annual event for their family members, friends and neighbors along with local and state elected officials.

Here's a great way to spend time outdoors — at Turf Valley Towne Square's Free Thursday Night Summer Concert Series. From 6:30 to 8 p.m, enjoy a family friendly evening under the stars listening to local bands.

This Thursday, Aug. 6, enjoy the group Baltimore Rockabilly, a trio dedicated to Rock & Roll, Blues, Swing, Jazz, Country and Early Rock.

The following bands plays the remaining August concerts — August 13, Crush, a group of veteran musicians who who play high energy hits from the '80s; August 20, Hectic Red, the band who's members are celebrating 27 years performing together specialize in dynamic four-part vocal harmonies, playing songs from Steely Dan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Yes, Rush, Queen, Genesis, the Beatles; August 27, The Klassix, the group performs danceable, classic Top-40 music of all genres and generations.

The last Sunset Serenades, a free Wednesday concert series from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Centennial Park South, is Aug. 12 featuring the group Higher Hands, a funky soul fusion band. The Park's South entrance is located at 10000 Route 108 in Ellicott City. For more information, call 410-313-4700. Weather related cancellation information will be available via a recorded message at 410-313-4451 after 5 p.m. on the day of the performance. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Refreshments and boat rentals available for a fee at the dock.

If you are wondering about the huge construction project next to the Miller Branch library, that's the new Lutheran Village at Miller's Grant, a senior housing neighborhood of mixed housing with advanced health care services and resort-style amenities.

According to Amber Schilberg, Bluespire Senior Living Senior Public Relations Account Manager, the Miller's Grant "four apartment buildings have been erected, the community center and health care center is under roof, and foundation work has begun for its stand-alone homes."

Schilberg also said the senior living community residences are 90 percent reserved. For more information, including a computer-animated design of the community, go to www.millersgrant.org or call 410-465-2005.

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